Murray Darling Basin Plan-New Broom

I sent the attached letter (so far unpublished) to The Australian on Saturday:-
Would someone please explain to Minister Burke and new MDBA Chairman Craig Knowles that:
1)the Murray Darling Basin was not suffering from “ill-health”, but the natural results of extreme dryness,
2)these dry symptoms have, in recent months, been dramatically cured by Mother Nature,
3)the extreme variability of our inland rivers is dealt with by issuing irrigation licenses which are subject to seasonal allocations, when water is short allocations are minimal or non-existent,
4)buying back licenses when there are no allocations is buying “phantom water”, activation of licenses , at times of plentiful water, could amount to flood mitigation,
5)if there truly is a problem of “over-allocation” when water is scarce, then it is the Water Sharing Plans that guide the allocations which should be reviewed,not the number of licenses on issue.

David Boyd

2 thoughts on “Murray Darling Basin Plan-New Broom

  1. I agree wholeheartedly with these comments – entitlements are dead – variable allocations must be the go. I would be very interested in your thoughts on the open water market on a basin that does have such massive changes in flow.


  2. JimBob51,My frustration is that variable allocations are the way our sensible forebears set the system up to deal with the variability and that is why only 3,500GL was extracted in 08/09. Farmers understand that their licenses/entitlements are subject to these variable allocations. Tony Burke's \”certainty\” is a smokescreen and a concept totally foreign to Australian farmers!That is not to say that their should not continue to be entitlements/licenses SUBJECT TO the allocations, guided by agreed water sharing plans. In other words, the system in place is fine!I am all in favour of the market operating for both licenses/entitlements and allocations, within the market rules for each catchment. At Tandou (I am a Director)we trade/invest in both, within what is known as the \”Connected Murray\” which includes the Murray, the Murrumbidgee and the Lower Darling. I am not sure what you mean by \”open market\”? You certainly can't have \”open slather\” across the whole basin.


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