The Andrews Labor Government is encouraging residents in northern Victoria to have their say on 22 projects that will help deliver Victoria’s share of the recovery targets of the Murray Darling Basin Plan, and ensure more water stays with Victorian farming communities.
The Basin Plan allows for up to 650 gigalitres of the water recovery target to be achieved through offsets from environmental projects.
The Victorian Labor Government does not support more Commonwealth buybacks of water from Victorian irrigators, meaning these projects are even more crucial.
The 22 projects will support the health of local rivers and wetlands along the Murray and its tributaries, protect and restore red gum forests, provide better breeding conditions for water birds and improve habitat for fish, turtles and other animals.
Four of the larger environmental projects are underway in the Gunbower Forest, Hattah Lakes and Lindsay and Mulca Islands, which will support jobs and the local environment.
Local information sessions will be run this month by the Murray Darling Basin Authority, providing an opportunity for community feedback. Formal submissions on the projects will open in October.
In March, the Labor Government secured agreement from the Basin Ministerial Council for a comprehensive assessment of social-economic impacts of the Plan in the southern Basin, to ensure it supports healthy, liveable communities while delivering tangible environmental benefits.
While the Victorian Labor Government wants to see a proper independent investigation into allegations of water misappropriation in New South Wales and Queensland, it’s important that the work to achieve the Basin Plan’s 650 gigalitres of offsets continues.
The first information session will be held in Shepparton on Thursday. For more information and to make a submission, visit mdba.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville
“We will continue to stand up for Victorian irrigators, farming communities and for the environment.”
“The Basin Plan must sustain agriculture, the economy and regional communities, while supporting a healthy environment – and we want locals to get involved.”
“I encourage locals in Northern Victoria to have their say on the future of water in their community.”