Stakeholders call for Murray-Darling Basin Review disclosure

Posted 14 September 2016

Murray-Darling Basin Calls are mounting for the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) to release its full analysis of the Basin Plan's social and economic impact on northern communities.

The National Farmers’ Federation and Cotton Australia are calling for the findings of the Northern Basin Review to be revealed in full.

NFF Water Taskforce Chair Les Gordon said the MDBA had presented the socio-economic results for three communities – Warren, Dirranbandi and Collarenebri – but not for the other 18 affected communities.

“These results showed potential impacts of up to 35% of full-time local jobs lost and we know that this analysis has been done for many more communities,” Gordon said.

“While the MDBA has released draft reports of its analysis of environmental impacts, the detail of the social and economic analysis has not yet surfaced and it is critical this is made available and the process is transparent.”

At the same time, MDBA Chief Executive Phillip Glyde released his reflections on recent activity on the Northern Basin Review.

“The purpose of talking with you over the last little while was to find out if the results of a three-year review into the north aligned with your understanding of what’s happening in your community and to find where there might be gaps in our knowledge,” he wrote.

“We wanted to check and re-check if our work, and what we now know about your communities, fits with what you know.”

Glyde said he, and all authority members, had heard very real concerns about the impact of water policy on communities and livelihoods.

“As one of the six people charged with making a recommendation in coming months on whether we need to change the settings in the Basin Plan for the north, your individual thoughts and concerns have not been lost on me,” he said.

“What I can assure you is that any decision we make for the Murray-Darling Basin in the next few months will be to safeguard it as one of Australia’s greatest national assets.”