The Andrews Labor Government has welcomed the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s draft offset target of 605 GL to help deliver the Basin Plan without the Commonwealth having to buy back more water.
Victoria has been a strong advocate for regional communities and a key proponent of 22 of the 36 offset projects which are designed to deliver better environmental outcomes with less water.
Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia put forward a package of 36 projects to the Authority to be considered for delivering offsets and are now calling on the community to have their say.
These new water projects use engineering works such as regulators, pipes and pumps to deliver water to wetlands and floodplains and use water more efficiently.
The Authority has advised that the proposed 605 GL of offsets, together with remaining contracted water recovery will be enough to fully offset the remaining water recovery gap in the southern Basin.
Victorians can help ensure environmental outcomes are delivered through smarter use of water when the Murray-Darling Basin Authority makes its final decision on the offsets in December.
The projects support the health of local rivers and wetlands, protect and restore red gum forests, provide better breeding conditions for water birds and improve habitat for fish, turtles and other animals.
In a win for regional Victoria, the nine environmental works projects alone will bring approximately $320 million of investment to northern Victorian communities, including opportunities for local investment and jobs.
The Labor Government looks forward to the Commonwealth making the funding available and the final sign off of these projects so they can be delivered.
Victorians are encouraged to have a say and can make a submission at, mdba.gov.au. Details of the projects are available at water.vic.gov.au/murray-darling-basin/murray-darling-basin-plan.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville
“This is a good step forward in delivering a plan that works for everyone – for the whole Basin community, for all water users including farmers, regional communities and the environment.”
“Victoria does not support further buybacks and had pushed for the offsets to be as high as possible, so our communities are protected from further water buybacks.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020