Bipartisan backing for Murray water amendments
Water Act amendments creating an adjustment mechanism for the Murray-Darling Basin plan have passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support.
They will allow the Federal Government to recover an additional 450 gigalitres for the Basin environment.
The adjustment mechanism allows the water recovery target to be reduced if the same environmental benefit can be achieved with less water and increased if that can be done without hurting communities.
The Federal Government also accepted the view of the Opposition and irrigators that the minister, not the Basin Authority, should have the final say on any adjustments.
The Government has announced it will use the mechanism to return an extra 450 gigalitres to the Basin environment.
Water Minister Tony Burke has now introduced a bill to allocate $1.77 billion over 10 years for infrastructure and efficiency projects.
They will relax the constraints which currently prevent 3,200 gigalitres being pushed through the river system.
The final Basin plan is expected to be introduced to the Parliament before the end of the year.
– ABC Rural
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