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Key Water Blog

National Irrigators Council – 6th March 2020

Rain this week has been fabulous for some of our members. It looks like some of the first predictions for flows down the Darling to Menindee are going to be exceeded.

Where I have been over the last couple of days, in Canberra/Queanbeyan we’ve seen a bit of rain, it’s heading down river to Burrinjuck dam.  Needs more, but let’s hope some inflow into South East NSW dams results in an allocation for all the people who have been on zero or single digit allocations for so long.

It was interesting to see the figures from ABARE this week on agricultural production, they are suggesting that the overall value of agricultural production, Australia wide, has only dropped slightly.  What the report shows though, and is very graphically illustrated in the picture I have lifted from ABARES (below), is the impact of drought on most of the Murray Darling Basin, and some parts of coastal Queensland and NSW.

Zero income for NSW farmers is essentially the picture.  The same goes for Southern Queensland and some of Northern Victoria.  Western Victoria has done pretty well.  The message is that, in the Murray Darling Basin, everyone has done it tough.

Joy and I attended a session yesterday where we heard reports from State agencies on progress on SDLAM projects, it was an interesting forum which highlighted the need for a lot more public information on progress (or lack of) on these crucial projects.  MDBA is going to have the presentations on-line from each State, I will share that link when it is available.

The Land has recently reported commentary from the Australia Institute on one of those projects at Yanco Creek.  I have real concerns about the agenda behind this work and the very poor standard of so-called research.  I’ve outlined those in more detail below.

I’ve mentioned previously the work we have been doing with the Ag Energy Taskforce on the vital issues around energy prices.  I’m pleased to say we are getting close to circulating to Taskforce members to the outcomes from our strategic planning session, it gives us a great focus for the priorities though it highlights again the need for more resources if we are to compete with the big electricity industry players.

Best wishes
Steve Whan

Click here to read the whole newsletter with topics including Australian Institute ‘Research’ on Yanco Creek and much more

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