The National Irrigators’ Council (NIC) today congratulated Minister Butler on his promotion to the Water and Environment Portfolios.

NIC has extended an open invitation to the new Minister to visit communities across the Basin to see first – hand how the Basin plan is being implemented, the impact recovering water is having on communities and how the water already recovered is being used.

NIC CEO, Tom Chesson said there are a myriad of outstanding issues with the implementation of the Basin Plan which irrigators and our communities stand ready to assist with. Not least of all is how the Governmentis going to implement ‘localism’ which its states has been ‘hard wired’into the Basin Plan.

“Another major concern is the water efficiency vs energy efficiency conundrum. The increasing costs of energy are dragging down irrigator’s profitability.”

“It’s no secret that irrigators costs of doing business are escalating whilst returns are stagnating and in some cases going backwards.”

Mr Chesson said irrigators want healthy river systems – we rely on it – but we need to ensure that Government policy considers the needs of people, communities and food and fibre production as well as the environment.

“We look forward working with Minister Butler to guarantee our agriculture and the food manufacturing sector continue their integral role in our economy and not only survive but thrive into the future.”

“The NIC also paid tribute to the outgoing Minister Tony Burke and his staff who had been instrumental in the development on the Basin Plan,” Mr Chesson said.

Media Contact: Tom Chesson 0418 415597