It is disappointing that the VFF’s Richard Anderson (“Best if they just NIC off”, WT 27.1.10) chooses to play the man, rather than the ball when discussing water policy in Victoria.

It is more disappointing that he misrepresented the National Irrigators’ Council’s position on security of Victorian water entitlements to 2019.

Contrary to Mr Anderson’s claims, NIC has never, repeat never, called for Victoria’s water resource plans to be brought forward to 2014. We have not even discussed the issue. We await an apology from the VFF.

What we have raised is the fact that the Victorian Government has not yet had its water resource plans prescribed in regulations under the Commonwealth Water Act(2007).

Why is this important? Because if they don’t, then the new Basin Plan, with cuts to water availability, will apply in Victoria immediately it is signed – that’s 2011 instead of 2019.

That’s why NIC has been raising the issue – because it’s in the interests of Victorian irrigators.

We’d like to work with the VFF.

We both agree that the Basin Plan process is too skewed towards the environment.

We agree that irrigators’ rights must be protected.

We just wish the VFF would stick to the facts.

The last thing farmers need is their representatives fighting each other.

Danny O’Brien CEO, National Irrigators’ Council