Ley says MDBA changes 'a good start'

Sussan Ley says changes to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan are example of 'adpation'

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Member for Farrer Sussan Ley. PHOTO: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Member for Farrer Sussan Ley. PHOTO: Sitthixay Ditthavong

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'This is not all that can be done, but this is a very good start.'

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Member for Farrer Sussan Ley said the recent changes to how the Murray-Darling Basin Plan operated were only a start.

Federal water minister Keith Pitt committed to no more water buybacks and splitting the MDBA in two.

"This is not all that can be done, but this is a very good start," Ms Ley said.

"We had put money aside to recover the 450 gigalitres and we've recognised, and the water minister has recognised that this hasn't worked.

"No water has been recovered, hence the change of approach."

Ms Ley said any water recovery would have to work with off-farm savings which don't take water from farmers.

"That's a real line in the sand, that's what I see as critical part of the announcement."

While water buybacks won't be pursued in future, that change won't be reflected in legislation because of the risks of bringing changes to the plan through parliament and instead it will be a regulatory change.

"The plan, while not perfect, is better in my view than no plan.

"The plan was always meant to be adaptive and I think this is an example of adapting to the situation," Ms Ley said.

"There are a lot of competing pressures at state level, at local level, at environment level and at production level and the plan balances them all.

"So from individual perspectives or geographic perspectives it's not answering everyone's needs, but overall, across the basin with these changes, it broadly is starting to do that."

Ms Ley said it was good to see the input from Murrumbidgee and Murray valley irrigators had been acknowledged in the Sefton report.

The story Ley says MDBA changes 'a good start' first appeared on The Area News.

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