Tatura water summit outcome
On Wednesday, 28 October, the Committee for Greater Shepparton, Greater Shepparton City Council and I convened a water summit at Unilever in Tatura.
The Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water attended together with her advisers and departmental staff, along with approximately 80 other stakeholders from the region.
The purpose of the summit was, one, to provide a clear understanding of the range of scenarios for northern Victorian communities resulting from the sustainable diversion limit negotiations with the federal government in 2016; two, to clearly articulate what the best case scenario looks like for northern Victoria; three, to help provide a credible and evidence-based platform for the Victorian government to use in negotiations; and, four, to establish a working group to continue to address these issues and, if necessary, conduct its own socio-economic impact statement.
The outcome of the meeting was a clearly articulated call for the following: a halt to all water recovery initiatives that take water out of productive agriculture so as to protect our economy, our jobs and our futures; an independent socio-economic analysis of the Murray-Darling Basin plan to date; a ban on future commonwealth water purchases; a demand that the commonwealth government commit to funding and delivering the full 650 gigalitres of environmental offsets created, by using environmental water efficiently; and a demand that the commonwealth government halt all efforts to recover 450 gigalitres of additional water for South Australia.