HAVE YOUR SAY ON THE MURRAY DARLING PLAN
Now is your chance to stand up for the rights of farmers and rural communities, and to keep agriculture and food production in Australia. The federal minister for Regional Affairs, Simon Crean has announced a public inquiry into the impact of the recently released Murray Darling Plan. The Government will accept written or emailed submissions up to December 20th 2010. Your submission can be brief if you wish and should focus on the issues, impacts, and present possible solutions, rather than politics or rhetoric. The following link provides some guidance on making submissions http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/ra/murraydarling/index.htm
Send your submission to:
firstname.lastname@example.org , Attention Committee Secretary, House of Representatives Standing Committee on Regional Australia
Committee Secretary, House of Representatives Standing Committee on Regional Australia, PO Box 6021, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600.
The Government web-site gives more guidance: The author must sign a written submission either on his or her own behalf or on behalf of the organisation making the submission. Those signing on behalf of an organisation should indicate the level at which the submission has been authorised (eg President, Chief Executive, Secretary). A return address for correspondence and a contact telephone number should be provided with the submission.
SOME OF THE ISSUES YOU MAY WANT TO CONSIDER IN YOUR SUBMISSION:
• The basin produces around $15b per annum in agricultural output from irrigated and non-irrigated farming in communities stretching across four states.
• Any significant reduction in water supply to irrigators and farmers would have significant social, economic and health impacts on the Basin’s farmers, families, communities, towns and businesses, and would threaten their viability.
• The Government must properly compensate farmers, individuals, families, businesses and their staff, for loss of earnings, loss of jobs, and loss of business and property values – including agricultural, residential and commercial property.
• The Government needs to pay relocation, re-establishment and re-housing costs for farmers, individuals, families and businesses forced to move elsewhere to find work, or to re-establish businesses and farms.
• Reduction of irrigation water will reduce farm productivity/output, and so will reduce Australia’s food security and will increase food prices, especially of fresh fruit and vegetables.
• As a result, Australia will have to import more food, and will export less, adversely affecting our balance of trade.
• Future water allocations should be assessed on current rain-fall and water-flow conditions, rather than on the serious drought conditions, which were one of the most severe in recorded history.
• Infrastructure upgrades increase will increase the real amount of water available and if water supply is reduced to irrigators, such upgrades should be built/invested in, by Government, to bring water supplies back to pre cut-back conditions.
• Increasing water flows to the Lower Lakes and Murray mouth to maintain a man-made freshwater lakes system is a questionable use of a limited water resource
• “5 million people living outside the Basin in MelbourneBallarat and Adelaide are draining water away from the MD basin environment and from its food production capacity. These cities should consider the other water supply options available to them, such as desalination, and so ensure that the basin remains able to supply much of Australia’s food needs and for Basin environmental and socio-economic reasons.
•The city of Canberra obtains its entire water supply from the Murray Darling basin. If farmers and regional cities/towns have their water supply cut, Canberra should lead by example and have its water supply cut by the same amount.”
AUSTRALIA NEEDS YOU