Barnaby Joyce and Kevin Anderson lobby to scrap Chaffey Dam environmental release

FLOW PAIN: It's unclear whether the governments will budge on environmental water releases from Chaffey Dam, inset Barnaby Joyce and Kevin Anderson.
FLOW PAIN: It's unclear whether the governments will budge on environmental water releases from Chaffey Dam, inset Barnaby Joyce and Kevin Anderson.

IT APPEARS the state and federal government won’t budge a millilitre more on reducing the proposed environmental water release from Chaffey Dam.

Peel valley irrigators protested the proposed release of 6.25 gigalitres of water from Chaffey Dam for environmental needs.

State and federal MPs want the whole allocation wiped, but the clock is ticking with the released scheduled to happen before the end of June.

Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson has requested no environmental water be released, but the NSW Government is still considering its options.

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The state has already reduced its required volume from five down to 2.6 gigalitres.

He said this section of the Peel was “quite different” to other areas in the state because it got a “good flush” every time Tamworth Regional Council requested a release.

New England MP Barnaby Joyce wasn’t clear on the whether the federal government would slash its 1.25 gigalitre component after he had requested Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg to wipe the Commonwealth’s allocation.

“The federal government’s component of the environmental release from Chaffey Dam, I think, is less than two gigalitres,” Mr Joyce said.

“It’s a very small component, the largest component of the release from Chaffey Dam, is actually not federal  environmental water; it’s state environmental water.

“Might I say this, if we didn’t have Chaffey Dam, if we didn’t increase the storage capacity … there’d be no water running in the Peel River.”

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