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MDB PLAN DEVELOPMENTS

November 25, 2016

REDUCTION RECOMMENDED

The Murray Darling Basin Authority has this week, recommended a reduction in water recovery targets in the Northern Basin from 390GL to 370GL.

It comes after the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID) Water Summit in Tatura last week, which put the spotlight on the impacts of the Plan in the Southern Basin, and in particular, the GMID.

The Water Summit looked at the study into the socio economic impact of the Basin Plan on the GMID, highlighting the impact of water losses from our irrigation district to date.

It is pleasing to see the response of Barnaby Joyce to the work that has been done in the Northern and Southern Basins, and that he is recognising our concerns.

While it is important that the environment receives its fair share of water, we must find a balance that delivers positive outcomes for our communities on both a social and economic basis as well.

RAIL SERVICES

I was pleased to have the confirmation of the new weekday train service from Melbourne, to start on January 29.

The new weekend service is expected to be introduced after January, making it four return services into Melbourne, seven days a week.

It remains a far cry from what the Shepparton District needs, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Shepparton’s train services is one of my main speaking points in Parliament.

In the past month alone, I have spoken about the need for the reinstatement of the platform-level access at Seymour Station, and questioned the lack of buffet service on the already lacklustre Shepparton line.

When it comes to rail, it’s no doubt Shepparton is being treated as the “poor relation” and this cannot carry on.

DOMESTIC ANIMALS BILL

I have received dozens of emails from across the Shepparton District regarding the introduction of the Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farms and Pet Shops) Bill.

I appreciate the feedback which has been provided to me in relation to this legislation, which, among other points, will restrict breeders to 10 female dogs and place further regulation on the owners of single breeding female dogs.

In the meantime, an Upper House Inquiry has been conducted into the Bill, and I am pleased to hear several local residents have taken part in this to express their concerns.

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