Saturday, December 2, 2023



Water wars: Labor and Greens unite to drain rural communities

The environmental, economic and social value of water to our floodplain communities is once again washed away under a tide of political games ... Once again, South Australia leads the Feds around by the nose while glossing over the impacts of the barrages, the south east drainage scheme, the topography and even the estuarine nature of the area. 

Basin Plan deal: Let the ‘Hunger Games’ begin

The fate of regional communities in the Murray-Darling Basin now rests with a handful of Senate crossbenchers after the Labor and the Greens struck a deal to enforce another 450GL in water buybacks from farmers within four years ... "The Minister’s insistence that buybacks are not the only option is disingenuous at best ... To add insult to injury, it is well documented that any water recovered cannot physically be delivered where it is intended to go ... ": NSW Irrigators’ Council CEO Claire Miller.

Premier Minns urged to distance himself from Albanese Government: NSW Farmers Association

The Albanese Government has allowed the Greens to dictate water policy that jeopardises the vitality of rural and regional towns across the Murray Darling Basin ... “Politicians have failed to listen to locals who have been warning them about the detriments of water buybacks": NSW Farmers Water Taskforce chair Richard Bootle.

Making bore water fit for dialysis

Making scarce and impure bore water in The Centre’s outback fit for use in medical dialysis has earned Alice local Michael C Smith a Distinguished Alumni Award from Flinders University in Adelaide. “I’m proud that one of my designs is working today in Kiwirrkurra, Australia’s most remote Aboriginal community,” says Dr Smith.

CMA on the lookout for natural drought refuges

The North Central Catchment Management Authority (CMA) is on the lookout for drought refuge pools – natural bodies of water that stay full, even during dry times.

QFF joins a growing chorus of industry and community voices calling on a carbon and capture storage project proposed for the Great Artesian Basin...

A proposed carbon capture and storage (CCS) project that would see liquified carbon dioxide injected into a water producing aquifer (the Precipice Sandstone) within the Great Artesian Basin (GAB) has industry and community alarm bells ringing, not only in Queensland, but across the nation.

Tentative pipeline route released

In preparation for the final route of the Toowoomba to Warwick (T2W) Pipeline being confirmed, Seqwater has released a detailed map of where the pipeline is planned to be constructed.

Enough is enough says Leeton protest rally

More than 600 residents, business owners and farmers demanded "enough is enough" and called for a stop to the water buybacks by the Albanese Government in a protest rally at Leeton. The crowd in Mountford Park was addressed by Leeton Mayor Cr Tony Reneka...

Still fighting

Even though this week’s rally in Deniliquin pulled a 700-strong crowd, for many, it was simply a case of déjà vu. Another year, another town, another rally, and every farm and rural/regional community the length and breadth of the Murray-Darling Basin still fighting a rearguard action to save their water and their future.

Farmers fear more red tape on the way, with NSW Government launching new water review: NSW Farmers Association

The state’s largest farming organisation is warning government against introducing more red tape for farmers with a new review into stock and domestic water rights getting underway.

Australia’s largest weir since World War 2 now complete: Dick, Butcher

Construction on Australia’s newest major water infrastructure asset is now complete. The $568.9 million Rookwood Weir, west of Rockhampton, will yield 86,000 megalitres each year to boost economic growth, agricultural production and industry in Central Queensland.

Schools left high and dry by water buybacks

Water buybacks have taken a toll on education in the southern NSW Murray-Darling Basin, with school principals linking falling enrolments and subject choices to the lasting socioeconomic impacts of past Government purchases. A NSW Irrigators’ Council (NSWIC) analysis of enrolment data, supported by interviews with school principals, shows how water buybacks are contributing to a loss of population and jobs and therefore fewer enrolments, subject choice and resources for regional schools.

Protect us from Plibersek!

Southern Riverina communities are being called on to ‘fight for our future’ at a rally next week. It aims to highlight the community concern at the social and economic damage that will be caused if water buybacks are introduced, as proposed by the Albanese Government.

Sacrificial lambs for a political agenda

Promoting a political agenda that costs jobs and ruins the livelihoods of people in rural communities has been described as "a sad reflection on the priorities of our city-based political elite." ... Mr Lolicato said the MDBA’s own socio-economic community profiles show job losses, again primarily from water buybacks, at more than 3,200.

Widespread water protest planned: NSW Farmers Association

Basin communities, farmers and businesses will join forces for the nation’s largest ever protest next week against the Albanese Government’s controversial water bill. The coordinated action led by Deniliquin, Griffith and Leeton councils, along with key farming groups such as NSW Farmers and businesses, will see towns across multiple states host demonstrations on Tuesday, November 21, sharing the message that a rewrite of the Murray Darling Basin Plan will cost thousands of jobs and slash almost $1bn worth of food and fibre from farms.

 ‘We stand by our river’: Murray Darling Conservation Alliance

With the Senate set to decide the fate of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, an alliance of First Nation leaders, irrigators, farmers, ecologists and environmental organisations today travelled to federal parliament to urge politicians from across the political spectrum to deliver for inland rivers and communities.  

Labor’s Basin plans will result in higher food prices, farmers warn: NSW Farmers, NFF, NSWIC, AgForce

The Albanese Government’s proposed changes to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan will shut down farms, destroy jobs and increase the price of food ... National Farmers’ Federation, NSW Farmers, AgForce Queensland and the NSW Irrigators’ Council– have joined forces to warn the Government is going far beyond the original 2012 Plan that sought to balance environmental, social and economic wellbeing.

MRSG explains ‘a better way’ to Senate Basin Plan hearing

“There are alternative investment options that deliver far greater and more sustainable environmental outcomes than the original architects of the Basin Plan’s approach of ‘just add water’. Sadly, politics doesn’t allow common sense to prevail. MRSG has also identified a range of project options that could achieve environmental outcomes while at the same time protecting staple food production, jobs, rural communities, economic activity and export earnings”: Louise Burge, Murray Regional Strategy Group.

Lifeline for critically endangered wetland plant

Two small wetlands in the middle of western Victoria are at the heart of a plan to bring back a critically endangered aquatic plant. Davis’s Dam on private farmland between Lake Buloke and Birchip, and Creswick Dam north of Marnoo, are being managed with water for the environment partly to help re-establish the marbled marshwort aquatic plant.

Our Q&A

The lack of a TAFE, children with special needs, the health bureaucracy, E-tag regulations, arts, rare earth mining, radiation therapy and plastics were among 16 questions asked at last week’s Country Cabinet forum in Naracoorte. During a two-day whirlwind visit SA Premier Peter Malinauskas, his ministers and all department chiefs collectively met with hundreds of people as they travelled to various special spots within our region.

Awards recognise water innovation

North East Water’s work has been recognised with a major award and a high commendation ... North East Water’s complex $6.5 million Beechworth project involved drilling through granite bedrock to construct a one-kilometre pipeline in Beechworth Historic Park, making it one of the longest single shot boring operations attempted through granite in Victoria.

Ferrero shuts down hazelnut project

The Ferrero Group is selling its $70 million hazelnut development near Narrandera amid claims that the region’s climate played a key factor in its decision. The move to not proceed with its NSW project is considered a major blow to the establishment of a commercial-scale hazelnut growing industry in Australia.

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