News | 10th Dec, 2009

Labor plan to let rivers run almost dry

Thursday, 10 December 2009
Peter Ker, The Age

Bare survival is the best Victoria's northern rivers can hope for if the past decade of drought is to continue, according to a new 50-year water strategy for the state's north.

Revealing the State Government's plan for rivers such as the Goulburn and Murray, the Northern Region Sustainable Water Strategy did not announce any new sources of water for the environment nor did it offer improved, guaranteed environmental flow levels.

Farmers loom as the winners from the strategy, with the state vowing to fight for existing water entitlements to be protected when the reduced extraction limit is imposed nationally on the Murray-Darling river system.

Irrigation methods will also be reformed in the hope of ensuring farmers never start a season with zero water allocations, as they have recently.

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