Many of the region’s primary producer representatives had an opportunity to talk with Federal and Assistant Ministers for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce and Anne Ruston at Renmark on Thursday.
Unsurprisingly, WATER reforms and Basin Plan challenges were high on the agenda. It was obvious that even within this region; it’s incredibly difficult to reach a strong consensus around the Basin Plan and water policies. Many argue with great passion and in urging the group to continue to participate in the debates, the Minister said, “This region is no different to every one of the other 17 MDB communities.” He added, “Monitoring, measuring and managing the impact of the plan on communities, regional economies and the environment is a huge challenge for groups like this across the Basin.”
He also reminded the gathering that he was the shadow minister who shepherded the Plan through the Federal Parliament after more than a century of bitterness and mis-management by the States. Reassuringly he added, “I’m certainly not about to walk away from it now.”
Achieving a balance is never easy but ensuring the arguments are all firmly based on evidence and that all options are investigated thoroughly is crucial for the long run success of the Plan.
Pleasingly for RW members, there were murmurings that signs of WET Reform, prior to vintage 2016 are looking more positive.