The National Irrigators’ Council said it was extremely disappointed about the lack of consultation surrounding the Government’s decision to burden communities in the Basin with more green tape.

NIC CEO, Tom Chesson said the decision to list as ‘critically endangered’ the ‘River Murray and associated wetlands, floodplains and groundwater systems, from the junction of the Darling River to the sea’ and the ‘Wetlands and inner floodplains of the Macquarie Marshes’ was made after the Prime Minister had called the election.

“Communities who will be directly affected by these listings have not been consulted.”

“Common sense and common decency has been missing to date and needs to be rectified”

“The responsible Department needs to get out of Canberra and start explaining what the listing means, how it will operate and what impact it will have on the environment, industries, local governments, and recreational users across the Basin,” he said.

Mr Chesson said we have been told not to worry about these listings as the Murray Darling Basin Plan will form the basis of the recovery plans.

“If there is nothing to worry about and it won’t have an impact on communities then why bother with the listings? It is just another example of more useless green tape.

“Both major Parties are claiming they would to remove the onerous burden of unnecessary regulations and if these listing are going to have no major impact then an incoming Government should get rid of them by moving a disallowance motion when Parliament resumes,” Mr Chesson said.

Mr Chesson said it was not only irrigators who would be impacted by this sneaky decision. The ‘Listing and Conservation Advices’ for the Murray River states in Chapter Four that someone will have to;

  • Develop and implement appropriate grazing regimes and barriers for the ecological community that take into account: when the stocking rate is too high; when timing of intense grazing is inappropriate (from an ecological functioning perspective); when the soils are too wet; or when plants are too stressed by other pressures.
  • Develop guidelines and monitoring protocols for recreational activities that adversely impact on the ecological community, including: fishing; 4WD and other recreational vehicle use; regulated hunting activity; houseboats and other recreational craft; camping (including lighting of fires).

Media Contact : Tom Chesson 0418 415597