CEO, Luke Simpkins, said allegations by China that Australia protected barley growers under the Murray-Daring Basin efficiency measure programs were rejected as incorrect on a number of levels.
“Most significantly there is a failure to understand that efficiency measures are in exchange fora permanent part of a farmers’ water licence, thereby reducing the total share of water available for agricultural production,” he said.
The facts of the matter are:
- Most barley grown in Australia is not irrigated.
- Most barley grown in Australia is not from the Murray-Darling Basin.
- Efficiency measure projects are not a subsidy, but a purchase, in exchange for a
permanent part of a farmers’ water licence.
- The reduction of water licences has big impacts on irrigation communities, and that is
why Government should not progress recovering this additional 450GL of water.
“Removing water from our farmers is the furthest thing from protectionism of our irrigation industry.”
“Government is not protecting our irrigation communities, they are inflicting vulnerability by reducing our share of available water. The removal of water from irrigation farmers (1 in every 5 litres) now means our farmers face the lowest ever access to water in history to produce our food and fibre under the Sustainable Diversion Limit”.
“It’s rejection, not protection”.
Governments know the damage caused by water recovery and that is why they applied the strict socio-economic neutrality criteria to the removal of the additional 450GL, to avoid repeating the mistakes and damage of the past.
Whilst that was a positive step, we do not believe it is possible to recover an additional 450GL consistent with that necessary and important criteria to protect communities and industries.
“In order to genuinely adhere to that criteria, Government cannot and should not progress recovery of the additional 450GL”.