Communities in the northern NSW Murray-Darling Basin will have their chance to share their experiences of Government water initiatives when Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment Bob Baldwin tours towns in the region this week.
Mr Baldwin said he’s looking forward to the opportunity to listen to and speak with locals, and inspect key water projects and sites in the region, alongside Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton.
“This tour provides an opportunity to hear first hand from local people living and working across the Basin about their views on the Commonwealth Government’s water reforms,” Mr Baldwin said.
“It’s great to receive feedback on the programmes and measures the Government has initiated and to learn more about the key issues facing the Basin into the future.
“A particular focus of this visit will involve talking to locals about Basin Plan implementation and the Coalition’s 1500 gigalitre cap on water purchases legislation, which is currently before the Parliament.
“We will ensure triple bottom line outcomes for Basin communities, economies and the environment and this is a good opportunity to talk with communities about how we can do this.
“As I’ve travelled through the Basin, the issue that has been raised most often is the need for greater certainty for communities and farmers; certainty for their businesses and certainty for the environment.
“I’m keen to get the message out that this legislation will ensure certainty for Murray-Darling Basin communities and cements the Coaltion’s commitment to investment into productive agriculture, particularly through our on- and off-farm efficiency programs.
“I look forward to continuing my travels throughout the Basin over the next few days as I meet with irrigators, farmers, landowners, traditional owners and environmental groups in the northern-NSW part of the Basin, and I’m pleased to have Mark Coulton along and see first hand the hard work he’s been doing in his electorate.
Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said the tour encompasses visits to Wee Waa, Narrabri, Moree, Trangie, Forbes, Bourke, Gooloogong and Cowra, as well as the Gwydir Wetlands and the Macquarie Marshes.
“I thank the Parliamentary Secretary for taking the time to come and work with my communities to better understand our role within the Basin,” Mr Coulton said.
“Every one of our irrigators and graziers is invested in the Basin so I know they’re also keen to hear what the Government is doing to ensure the future of their communities, economies and environments.
“We need to get the balance right and we need to ensure our communities remain productive into the future.”
The trip, which will conclude on Friday July 17, is part of Mr Baldwin’s wider tour of the Murray-Darling system, where he is visiting towns in all the Basin states. Mr Baldwin has previously visited the Queensland Murray-Darling Basin, the southern basin and the Riverina.
Media contact: Andrew Kos, 0402 742 206