Communique week 3

10 months ago

Efficiency measures public meetings – Week 3

Community consultation continued this week with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources listening to communities in South Australia. Meetings were held in Renmark and Murray Bridge. Officials also attended the Kerang River Murray Council CEO Meeting, by invitation.

Nearly 50 community members attended the public meetings in South Australia. Irrigators, business owners, industry groups and local councils have been able to discuss their concerns, and express their ideas, with State and Commonwealth Government officials.

Officials heard the views of participants about the risks of a further 450 GL water recovery, water pricing mechanisms, and that pricing incentives may not be enough to attract people to participate in the program. Participants also shared concerns that works completed under previous Commonwealth programs had seen South Australian irrigators already achieve high levels of water efficiency.

South Australian communities were concerned that Victorian and NSW farmers are currently not eligible for on-farm efficiency programs and that this could limit the amount of water that could be recovered for the environment.

People saw potential in co-designing efficiency projects within their communities that might incorporate the plans of industry, farmers and local governments, taking a regional approach.

Learning from previous Government programs, participants suggested broadening the eligible items available under the program to mitigate possible socio-economic risks and improve participation. Participants also suggested that the program should help build business resilience to drought and changing market conditions.

Next week sees the Department return to Victoria and New South Wales where we look forward to meeting with communities in Mildura, Swan Hill, Balranald and Rochester.

Everyone is able to have their say - interested parties can complete the survey, lodge a submission or participate in the online webinars at haveyoursay.agriculture.gov.au/water-efficiency.

Statistics

Town No. Attendees Top 3 attendee Demographics
Renmark 17 Farmers and Irrigators - 17% Local/State Government - 35% Other - 23%
Murray Bridge 30 Farmers and Irrigators - 33% Local/State Government - 30% Other - 13%