‘Review needs to be priority’

By Country News

A Murray-Darling Basin Plan review is needed, says a Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MP, who has slammed a recent water allocation announcement.

State Member for Eastern Victoria Jeff Bourman said a recent announcement of a two per cent allocation for the Murray, Goulburn and Loddon systems did not allow farmers to plan.

‘‘It’s ludicrous to expect farmers to be able to plan with only a two per cent allocation of water,’’ Mr Bourman said.

‘‘Water is the lifeblood of farms and to be able to plan forward in any capacity, they’ll need to rely on more than two per cent.

‘‘No Australian business would be able to function on a two per cent allocation of an annual budget, with only a vague hope that the remainder might be available down the track.

‘‘Blindly continuing to push forward with the MDBP has already placed many towns in Victoria under grave threat.’’

He called on Victoria to hold an inquiry into the plan, saying towns such as Cobram, Kerang, Cohuna, Boort and Rochester had already lost hundreds of jobs.

‘‘Water and water rights have been the subject of considerable press of late, but there has been no plan for a review let alone plans on how to return the allocation of water to an equitable formula,’’ Mr Bourman said.

‘‘Pausing the plan pending a review into whether the plan is even worth Victoria participating in any more, needs to be an absolute priority.’’