Visit ‘productive’

By Country News

A visit by Murray-Darling Basin Authority representatives to the Goulburn Valley last week has been described as ‘‘productive’’ by a water lobby group.

MDBA chief executive Phillip Glyde and chief economist Phil Townsend met with irrigators and agricultural companies about the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

The Goulburn Murray Irrigation District Water Leadership Group questioned the MDBA team about socio-economic modelling released so far, engagement with stakeholders and how the authority was rebuilding trust and confidence in the plan.

The group is concerned that socio-economic analysis which focuses on ownership of water entitlement, rather than water use, will be flawed.

The group also raised the issue of its RMCG report and the findings of the impacts of water loss to rural communities.

The group pressed the MDBA on how it was going to ensure it could engender trust with basin communities.

Group co-chair David McKenzie said the meeting produced a number of commitments, including an introduction to the federal department representatives who were working on clarifying the socio-economic neutrality test for the ministerial meeting in November.

Mr McKenzie said the group was also promised some data sharing so it could look at the figures the authority was working on.

At the leadership group meeting were Peter Hall, Nat Akers, Russell Pell, Claire Miller, Rob Rendell and Campbell Fitzpatrick.