Murray darling basin job shock as water buyback hits farms _ the weekly times note 3 data recovery
Murray darling basin job shock as water buyback hits farms _ the weekly times note 3 data recovery UP TO 35 per cent of agricultural jobs have evaporated from communities in the Murray Darling Basin’s upper reaches under the Federal Government’s water clawback plan, startling new data shows. The “horrific” figures for basin towns in Queensland and northern NSW — garnered from new research by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority — have led to renewed calls for water recovery targets to be lowered, as the socio-economic effects are fully considered. An analysis by The Weekly Times found governments have recovered well over the minimum catchment targets in almost every basin catchment, with buybacks making up the bulk — and there’s still 768.6GL to go to meet the basin-wide
target of 2750GL. Database index Industry leaders are ready to lay the boot into Federal and State governments should they ignore regional Australians suffering under the policy. “Why is it acceptable for governments to destroy and remove upwards of 30 per cent of jobs in a regional community, when it would obviously be unacceptable in Western Sydney or the key seats of Adelaide?
” National Irrigators Council chair Tom Chesson asked. “What we are finding in the north, this micro-level of study needs to be replicated in the south … Database hardware this shows the socio-economic work done at the time of creating the basin plan is rubbish and not fit for purpose,” he said. Data recovery qatar The MDBA’s research — which is not yet publicly available — is part of its review into the Northern Basin, which includes everything above the Murrumbidgee and Lower Darling catchments.
The Northern Basin — which differs greatly from the south — is to contribute 390GL to the overall 2750GL target; it’s recovered 269GL so far. Data recovery wizard free The MDBA will make a recommendation on whether the target should be lowered based on its review findings. Collarenebri — in the Gwydir catchment in north west NSW, where there has been over-recovery of water — is already seeing ag job losses up to 35 per cent compared with high production years. E m database Warren, north west of Dubbo, is experiencing ag job losses up to 15 per cent.
In Dirranbandi, in Queensland, planting is expected to be down 35 per cent, and ag job losses are already as high as 15 per cent — but, with only 40 per cent of water recovered in this region, the figure could increase. However, a four-year review, including the socio-economic effects, has been underway to see if there’s a case for changing the north’s target. Gale database The MDBA will soon make a recommendation on this to basin governments.
Chief executive Philip Glyde said, depending on whether more or less water was removed, future job losses in ag “ranged from 6 to 26 per cent in Dirranbandi and 2 to 9 per cent in St George”. “Of the 21 communities studied, figures indicated job losses are likely to be highest in Dirranbandi, Collarenebri and Warren,” Mr Glyde said. “All other areas are expected to experience less of an impact, with many having job losses well below 5 per cent.
” Mr Glyde said a range of factors affected the employment data, such as drought and farmers’ using new technology in production, but thatwater recovery “has affected some towns more than others, depending on the diversity of the local economy and how much water has been recovered”. Database software media_camera . Cotton Australia general manager Michael Murray — who attended the meeting in Dirranbandi — said it was irrelevant whether job losses were projected at 5 or 35 per cent: any figure due to government policy was too high.
“I can’t imagine any government wanting to own that sort of impact on a community,” he said. “There’s a real strong argument now to say enough is enough.” Mr Murray said the review showed the environmental benefits gained from recovering the full target amount of water were “incremental”, in comparison to the disastrous social and economic outcomes.
Any money to recover the remaining 121GL — which could cost up to $600 million — should instead be spent on making the most of the environmental water already obtained, he said. Database query languages This could include carp control, enhancing river habitats, and thermal curtains to combat cold water pollution. Warren Shire mayor Rex Wilson said his town was “on a knife-edge”. Warren falls in the Macquarie-Castlereagh catchment, where the recovery target was 65GL.
Data recovery plan So far, 82.5GL has been recovered, 24.6 of which is from buybacks. Database index Although the local catchment target has been met, there are fears more water will be taken when shared recovery targets kick in from 2019.
“This thing (the basin plan) has dragged on and that uncertainty does have an impact on people’s confidence and their investments,” Mr Wilson said. “The reality is we are a much quieter community than we used to be.” He did not lay all the blame on the basin plan, acknowledging dry conditions and low water allocations contributed to the region’s plight. Nor did he begrudge farmers selling their water, but stressed that over-recovery of water under the basin plan was an issue affecting the wider community.
“It’s impossible to alter the seasons, but the unintended consequences of government policy is really behind our greatest concern,” he said. Mr Chesson acknowledged many basin communities were in decline before the plan, with previous water reforms and drought hitting hard. “The question is, how can a community have resilience when they’ve already lost a third of their jobs?
” he said. “If they’re predicting another 5, 10, 20 per cent under the plan, where’s the tipping point for that community, and how can it recover?
” But Australian Conservation Foundation’s Jonathan La Nauze said changing the targets would “benefit nobody in the long run — there’s no jobs on a dead river”. He said taking water for irrigation upstream reduced rivers downstream, which had social consequences for areas such as the Lower Lakes.
“You only have to ask the people of Wilcannia, Pooncarie or Menindee what happens when the big pumps upstream reduce the river to a trickle,” he said. “It’s a simple fact that the more water we take from the river, the more fish deaths and algal blooms we’ll see”. An examination of the social-economic conditions in the southern basin is due to take place next year, as part of a full MDBA review of the plan so far. About 1168GL of recovered water across the basin has come from buybacks, which are now capped at 1500GL. Data recovery ipad Though most catchments have exceeded their local recovery targets, all basin states still need to find more water from 2019 to meet their shared targets — water taken from anywhere within their basin waterways, and not just a local catchment. Victorian Farmers Federation water taskforce chair Richard Anderson said the results from the north were “horrific”, and showed governments needed to “hasten slowly” when it came to recovering more water, be it from the north or the south.
“We need to take a good look at the results of what we’ve already got and ask, do we need as much as we originally thought?” he said. “Unless it’s done properly, you’re never going to convince anyone it’s worth it.” University of Canberra’s Jacki Schirmer said her basin research showed on and off-farm infrastructure — which has been used to recover 602GL so far — was generally met with positive responses by farmers. A spokesman for Agriculture and Water Minister Barnaby Joyce said Mr Joyce would “consider all information on the social and economic impacts of the basin plan” when final targets are set. “Families in and around St George, Moree, Warren, Wee Waa and all the other towns across the Basin have just as much right to have opportunities to prosper as families in our capital cities,” he said.
Labor’s new water spokesman Tony Burke — who signed the basin plan as minister in 2012 — said he would seek a briefing with the MDBA to learn first-hand the progress of the plan. LOCAL TARGET: Each catchment in the basin has a water recovery target they must achieve. SHARED TARGET: Beginning from 2019 each half of the basin also has a shared target — extra water on top of the local catchment targets. S ource: Murray Darling Basin Authority website, as of June 30, 2016 A NOTE ABOUT RELEVANT ADVERTISING: We collect information about the content (including ads) you use across this site and use it to make both advertising and content more relevant to you on our network and other sites.
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