News | 15th Mar, 2016

Lobby group says water buybacks a success

Monday, 25 July 2011
Peter Lenaghan, ABC News

Environmentalists say the Federal Government's bids to buy water entitlements from irrigators have been successful.

Environment Victoria says it has completed a report showing the Commonwealth's schemes over the past four years have bought more than 1,000 gigalitres of water from farmers.

Critics have said the scheme has damaged some irrigation districts and a parliamentary committee recently called for a halt to non-strategic buybacks. backs.

But Environment Victoria's Kelly O'Shanassy says there is no evidence to show any harm has been done to regional communities.

"We need these water purchasing programs to continue because the other big thing about these programs is they're so much more cost-effective than irrigation efficiency programs," she said.

"Not to say irrigation efficiency's not important, but water purchasing costs about four times less."

She says many farmers who have taken up the offer have sold just a portion of their water.

"That means that those farmers are still on the land, they're still irrigating, still producing food, still part of the community," she said.

"That sort of blows the myth out of the water that water purchasing schemes will destroy irrigation communities."

Download Oversubcribed now

Check out our media release

More on our the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and our efforts to Save the Murray