Local, Independant and Effective
November 01, 2016

Water authority commits to actions after round-table meeting

Landholders downstream of Lake Hume weir received a commitment today from the Murray Darling Basin Authority for action to improve the impact of water releases.

The commitment was made during a round-table meeting today in Wodonga organised and led by Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan.

Landholders were able to voice their concerns directly to the Chair of the MDBA Neil Andrew AO, Executive Director David Dreverman, and representatives from the Bureau of Meteorology and NSW Water.

“Today’s meeting was effective in bringing everyone together to come up with some practical solutions,” Ms McGowan said.

“The MDBA agreed to form a working group with NSW Water to review the early warning system. They will also seek, in conjunction with the Murray River Action Group, a meeting with the Basin Officials Committee to address priorities currently dictating the management of water releases.

“These are two concrete actions that make me optimistic that things can be done better in the future.

“Landholders came to me with very clear concerns about communication from MDBA, particularly around the use of live data and local knowledge. With that I was able to ask questions in parliament and then convene this meeting, which brought the right people together quickly to address the problems face to face.

“The meeting delivered what people were asking for, which was a chance to explain their concerns directly, and hear the explanation from the people responsible for making decisions at the MDBA. They also wanted to suggest how things could be managed better in the future.

“The effects of the water releases have been significant and I have been deeply concerned about the long term impact if the problems are not addressed. This meeting was a reassuring step forward.

“I am happy to continue to work with all the people involved and keep taking the message from affected landholders back to parliament."

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