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Commonwealth backs down on Basin Plan blackmail: VFF

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Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF), Media Release, 16 April 2024

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is relieved the Commonwealth Government has finally stopped blackmailing Victoria and agreed to fund environmental projects that will ensure floodplains are watered.

VFF President Emma Germano said it’s pleasing to see that Victoria will no longer be short-changed for key Basin Plan projects.

“The VFF commends the Victorian Government and Minister Harriet Shing for standing up for Victorian farmers and regional communities and not being bullied to support water buybacks.”

“For over six months, the Commonwealth had been blackmailing Victoria and threatening to not fund key projects if Victoria remained opposed to water buybacks.”

“It’s good to see that even though Victoria remains opposed to water buybacks, these important projects can now be started,” Ms Germano said. 

Ms Germano added there was nothing to prevent the Commonwealth Government entering the Victorian water market to purchase water for the Basin Plan.

“Despite Victoria having done all the heavy lifting to deliver Basin Plan outcomes, we are still faced with the Commonwealth Government hell-bent on taking more water from food and fibre production which is a key economic driver for our state.”

“The VFF is focused on making sure the Commonwealth understands the impact its arbitrary water recovery targets will have on the Victorian communities and our environment, whilst doing nothing to address environmental damage to the New South Wales Darling River.”

“Buying up water that’s used to produce food will ultimately kill rural towns and it’s about time the Commonwealth came clean on which towns they are going to close down if they enter the water market.”

“Water is the lifeblood of our towns up here and we will continue to fight for the farmers and rural communities of Northern Victoria,” Ms Germano concluded.


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