“Land available to farming shrank by 15pc between 2000 and 2013 and water entitlements in the Murray-Darling Basin shrank about a third.
Then federal Water Minister Penny Wong’s irrigation rights buying campaign had been motivated by drought-fuelled concern about the downstream environment’s impact from what was envisaged as continuing drought.
But he said the federal government and zealous environmentalists ignored the river system’s history of low and non-existent flows, targeting water extraction cuts based on almost-random figures proposed by the anti-irrigation lobby.
“There was no environmentally defensible reason for the sort of buy-back figures chosen by government,” said Mr Oxley, who heads the trade consultancy firm ITS Global.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself!