The National Irrigators’ Council (NIC) welcomes the election of the new New South Wales
Government following Saturday’s election.
NIC CEO Isaac Jeffrey said: “NIC congratulates the Minns Government on its election at this
weekend’s state poll and looks forward to working with the new government and new
“The Government-elect takes the reins at a challenging time for our country and New South
Wales, particularly for water and energy policy.
“The Murray-Darling Basin Plan is at a critical point. The Plan has achieved a great deal and
while there is still work to be done to complete it, there is an opportunity for the new
Government to consider how that can be done without negatively impacting food
production and the economy.
“NIC strongly encourages the Government to continue to seek an extension of time and the
addition of new projects to deliver SDLAM commitments, and to support the socio-economic
test on the Efficiency Measures program, to avoid buybacks. The new Minister when
appointed will need to quickly understand the implications of buybacks and a conversation
with the Victorian Minister may be helpful in the first instance.
“In considering how to finalise the Basin Plan, the Government is strongly encouraged to
assess how its decisions may affect food production, cost of living, water prices, regions,
businesses, jobs and the NSW economy. On current projections, NSW may have to contribute
around 360 gigalitres to shortfalls in SDLAM and the 450. That’s the equivalent of all of the
water used to grow food and fibre in Coleambally and Sunraysia and Western Murray
irrigation districts combined or well over half of the production in the Murray or
Murrumbidgee regions. Regardless of where the water comes from for buybacks, they will
push up the price of water which will flow on to cost of living for everyone.
“On energy, the Government will preside over an unprecedented change in the market.
Coal generators are closing down during this term and the renewables market is not yet
capable of generating and delivering affordable, reliable and secure energy to NSW
customers. Farmers need to be able to flick the switch on their pumps and know they’ll turn
on and that it won’t be prohibitively expensive.
“The Government is strongly encouraged to review plans to shut existing generators and
networks before renewables and storage capacity is available to handle the state’s energy
needs. Shortfalls in capacity will likely lead to blackouts, higher prices, business closures and
increased cost of living.
“We look forward to the appointment of the Ministry and Shadow Ministry, and to working
with all Members of Parliament on these important public policy matters.”
Ends. Media Contact: Isaac Jeffrey 0407 083 890 email@example.com