The National Irrigators Council, at its Annual General Meeting, unanimously opposed compulsory acquisition as a means of the Federal Government obtaining water entitlement.

In attendance at the meeting were irrigator representative groups from Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales –from both within and outside the Murray Darling Basin.

“The message from irrigators and irrigation communities is clear – we stand united against compulsory acquisition,” Acting Chief Executive Officer Andrew Gregson said.

Responding to the draft Terms of Reference for a Senate Inquiry that the Greens have announced that they will co-sponsor with Senator Nick Xenophon, Mr Gregson asked what it was that they hoped to achieve.

“If this is about delivering water in the short term for the environment, then both the Greens and Senator Xenophon need to get a better understanding of the facts – irrigators are on record low allocations. Acquiring their entitlements will not deliver water.

“If, instead, this is about political grandstanding, then both the Greens and Senator Xenophon need to understand that they are playing with the future of businesses, livelihoods and rural communities who will not take kindly to it.”