Salinity Policy commentary

Policy development is dry. It’s not what gets most of us up and about. It’s always good to be able to ‘flick-pass’ it to someone else. It’s easier to comment on someone else’s work but by then, it’s often at the policy implementation stage; and it’s too late.


Salinity has always and will always be an issue for all Australians but especially farmers and irrigators. As the landscapes are altered, to make way for those who produce food and fibre, so soil health is depleted; salt is mobilised and that can be lethal. Managing salinity is a constant challenge. Measuring salinity impacts, monitoring salinity policy, and amending it from time to time is necessary and important work. For the region’s irrigation based industries to remain competitive in global markets, viable for investors and respectful of the environment, it’s up to all of us to tune in and speak up.

In response to the recent open invitation to all irrigators to join with DEWNR and NRM management to review their ‘Salinity Issues Paper’, Riverland Wine initiated a joint commentary with Summerfruits SA and the Almond Board of Australia. The ‘issues paper’ formed the first stage of a consultation program. The next step will be a discussion paper, prepared by DEWNR in coming months. This will pave the way for more intensive debate before the policy is amended and reissued in 2019.

Special thanks to one of the region’s ‘hidden gems’, Chris Bennett. His knowledge, patience and diligence have enabled the three industry groups to construct a paper that will encourage more members to contribute to the new salinity policy.

Read the submission.

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