'A bloody mess': council slams current basin plans

Tamworth water: council slams Murray Darling Basin Plan, water sharing plan

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NOT HAPPY: Tamworth councillor Russell Webb labelled the Murray Darling Basin Plan a "bloody mess" at this week's meeting. Photo: Jacob McArthur 121119JMA10

NOT HAPPY: Tamworth councillor Russell Webb labelled the Murray Darling Basin Plan a "bloody mess" at this week's meeting. Photo: Jacob McArthur 121119JMA10

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"It is extremely evident the current plan we've had hasn't provided the necessary security for the city."

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Councillors have labelled the Murray Darling Basin Plan a "bloody mess" while taking aim at both levels of government over water management.

Tamworth council, the New England region of NSW, voted unanimously to call on the NSW water minister to delay a current review into the Peel water sharing plan.

Tamworth councillors believe there could be a lot to be learnt from the current drought and the next water sharing plan should be shaped by those lessons.

The council's chief water officer, Bruce Logan, has previously blasted the water sharing plan and said it had led to the region's "present position".

Water NSW's draft 10-year sharing plan was largely unchanged from the current arrangement.

The mayor said it was unreasonable and illogical to be "changing the water sharing plan at this point in time".

"We think there is a lot of learnings that can come out this drought and the plan should be adjusted post-drought," Cr Murray said.

"So, once we return back to normal river conditions, that is a much more logical time to be revisiting the water sharing plan and we can apply all of the new knowledge we will have about the operation of the river to build into that plan."

While he said water management in Australia was complex issue, the mayor suggested a lot of problems filtered down from the top.

"Our overarching framework we work within is the Murray Darling Basin Plan," he said.

"We are seeing lots of debate about the authenticity of that plan and what it's achieving.

"That feeds back down through the water sharing plan and I don't know that any of the different sectors of interest are comfortable with the plan at the moment."

Fellow councillor Russell Webb went one step further at Tuesday night's meeting and labelled the Murray Darling Basin Plan "a bloody mess".

"We need to sort that out before we get stuck into this," he said.

Cr Webb called for the review to be delayed.

Glenn Inglis said it came to down to questions of water management.

"You can have all of the dams in the world, but the key issues are the administration and governance of the actual water stored," he said.

"It is extremely evident the current plan we've had hasn't provided the necessary security for the city."

The story 'A bloody mess': council slams current basin plans first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.

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