National Irrigators Council CEO, Steve Whan, says the appointment of former AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty as the Murray Darling Basin “Northern Basin Commissioner”,is welcome.

Steve Whan said “creating this oversight position was an important part of the agreement between the Government and the Opposition, that put the Basin Plan back on track, earlier this year.

“The former AFP Commissioner is an outstanding choice.

“The commissioner has a big job, but he is, in many ways, the final piece in a jigsaw puzzle of significant action that has taken place over the past twelve months.

“We have seen huge reform at State and Federal level on compliance, including a big increase in resources for compliance. That is vital for Commissioner Keelty’s success,because it is the State Governments who will have the boots on the ground, forming the basis of a strong compliance regime.

“Irrigators support stringent compliance. We have zero tolerance for water theft, water is a hugely valuable resource and irrigators, along with communities and the environment, suffer if it is taken illegally.

“Commissioner Keelty’s job does involve oversight of compliance, but it also has a very important role in making sure the Northern Basin review measures are implemented. That includes ensuring we get the ‘toolkit’ measures that can make a real positive difference to the river environment and engaging with indigenous communities.

“It is a big task and the irrigation community is ready and willing to work with Mr Keelty to get it done.”

Media Contact:Steve Whan 0429 780 883
Thursday 23 August 2018