Strong feedback at first Basin plan workshop

THERE was “very strong feedback from the community” at yesterday’s Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) information workshop in Narrabri, meeting chairman Mal Peters said. 

About 35 people, including representatives from Namoi Water, Aboriginal groups and dryland irrigators, attended to get an update on the Basin plan and its timetable for the next five years. 

“There were concerns expressed on some of the science aspects that the authority took on board,” Mr Peters said.

He said people were wondering whether the science review already undertaken “had gone far enough”.

“They were pleased about aspects it addressed, but there were questions on areas needing to be included as part of the work,” he said.

“There was very strong endorsement of the socioeconomic model put up – it was compared to two Rolls-Royces.”

Mr Peters, who is also the chairman of the Northern Basin Advisory Committee, is chairing all the meetings in our region, including today’s at the Warren Sporting and Cultural Centre (10am start).

The final meeting is at Goondiwindi on April 29 in the Goondiwindi Training Centre.

Work on the Basin plan includes a science review; socioeconomic review; identifying water-recovery options; a review of the long-term sustainable diversion limits and the Basin diversion limits; and how it can all be brought together to create a set of recommendations.

MDBA general manager David Galeano said he wanted to hear about the ways local communities preferred to receive information and keep in touch with the authority.

He said the MDBA had been consulting with people in the northern Basin during the past year to help implement the Basin plan in a way that worked best for the rivers, as well as for communities and industry.

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