Murray River Group of Council have called for a ‘‘fair dinkum’’ examination of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan at the upcoming Ministerial Council meeting.
Chair of the six council group, and Campaspe Shire mayor, Adrian Weston, stopped short of echoing others calls for a ‘‘pause’’ to the basin plan, but said it was important to slow down and take stock of what had been achieved before moving forward.
The Murray River Group of Councils called on Victorian Minister for Water Lisa Neville to communicate the efforts of northern Victorian communities to get environmental outcomes for the whole basin.
‘‘We’ve held up our end of the bargain. We’ve delivered what we said we would, we’ve innovated, and we want that to be acknowledge,’’ he said.
‘‘Let’s understand what we’ve been able to achieve before we start conversations to deliver 450 Gl of South Australian water.’’
Cr Weston reiterated the need for a ‘‘honest’’ analysis of the socio-economic impacts of the basin plan, calling for a report that examined the local, agricultural, district and regional impacts with no ‘‘whitewashing’’ or ‘‘sweeping it under the rug’’.
‘‘If the report is not fair dinkum and doesn't reflect what we see and our communities have seen then that’s only going to further contribute to mistrust within the community for those responsible for developing the plan,’’ Cr Weston said.
“Our irrigators have innovated and our communities have adapted. They have become some of the most efficient irrigators in the world, they’ve had to.’’
The Ministerial Council meeting is scheduled to take place on Tuesday December 19.