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Basin plan input urged

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September 07, 2017

Goulburn Valley farmers will have their say at today's Murray-Darling Basin meeting in Shepparton.

Goulburn Valley farmers can have an input into water recovery targets for the Murray-Darling Basin at a Shepparton meeting today.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority is looking at 22 projects to deliver Victoria’s share of the water recovery targets for the basin.

The basin plan allows for up to 650 gigalitres of the water recovery target to be achieved through offsets from environmental projects.

The 22 projects will support the health of local rivers and wetlands along the Murray River and its tributaries, protect and restore red gum forests, provide better breeding conditions for water birds and improve habitat for fish, turtles and other animals.

Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed said it was important for the environmental projects to succeed to save our farmers further pain through water buybacks.

‘‘These projects are an important part of the rollout of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and from the point of view of our irrigation communities; it is important that recovery of this 650Gl of water be achieved from offsets or environmental works,’’ Ms Sheed said.

‘‘The success of these environmental initiatives will help to remove the risk of future buybacks and of more water coming our of the consumptive pool.’’

She said it was important for farmers to have their say at today’s meeting.

‘‘I am well aware that our regional communities are suffering from fatigue over water issues but we must remain on task to ensure the future sustainability of our irrigation communities,’’ she said.

Four of the larger environmental projects are under way in the Gunbower Forest, Hattah Lakes and Lindsay and Mulca islands, which will support jobs and the local environment.

Information sessions will be held in Shepparton today at 10.30am and 3pm, at Shepparton Golf Club.

Victorian Water Minister Lisa Neville is urging northern Victorians to attend to have their say.

Formal submissions on the projects will open in October.

‘‘I encourage locals in northern Victoria to have their say on the future of water in their community,’’ Ms Neville said.

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