The NSW Farmers Association Executive Council has called for better protection for regional communities and agricultural production under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
Policy motions passed by the council implore federal and state governments to prioritise complementary measures such as carp control and addressing cold water pollution in meeting the environmental outcomes of the plan.
The motions also call for additional non-flow options to be explored to deliver better outcomes for the southern basin, as NSW farmers send a strong message to bureaucratic bodies that they have had enough.
NSW Farmers president Derek Schoen said the motions were particularly relevant in light of calls from Opposition water spokesperson Tony Burke for amendments to remove even more productive water.
‘‘Our members who are living and working in the basin know that an additional 450Gl of water recovery will have dire consequences for basin communities,’’ Mr Schoen said.
‘‘We call on Mr Burke to acknowledge the agreements that clearly state that there mustn’t be further recovery unless there are neutral or beneficial socio-economic impacts.
‘‘The health of the Murray-Darling Basin is critical to the regional towns, businesses and farming families living along it but the Murray-Darling Basin rivers will not be improved by simply adding water.
‘‘The association is clear that water recovery must stop, and targeted environmental projects that actually improve river health need to get moving, if we are to avoid further destruction to regional communities that are already suffering.’’