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Senator Perin Davey delivers impassioned remarks about water buybacks and airs concerns for future

Shadow Minister for Water, Perin Davey, appeared on the Country Viewpoint program this week to discuss her latest stance on the controversial and polarising MurrayDarling Basin Plan.

Image credit: Senator Perin Davey official Facebook page

The Deputy Leader of the Nationals told Flow listeners vast sections of the community are venting their frustration in relation to the Federal government's latest direction taken on water buybacks.

I've just been to a rally here in Deniliquin where the cries were for no more water buybacks," Davey said.

"There's a lot of concern here in New South Wales and across the border in Victoria about the Federal government's proposal to buy more water off our communities.

"I talk to people across Renmark and Berry and Loxton and down at Murray Bridge in South Australia as well and I have concerns raised with me from them as well that buybacks particularly in areas like within the Renmark Irrigation Trust and Central Irrigation Trust, buybacks can be really negative because they're not strategic.

"They have flow on impacts on other people within those systems and Central Irrigation Trust raised a really good case study with me that they actually are reliant on their irrigators to ensure they can continue to deliver water to the councils and to the town parks and to other public infrastructure. "

Davey also made the distinction between highlighting that water buybacks impact on all sections of river-town communities and not just farmers and irrigators.

"We need to be very cautious when we're talking about buybacks not to think about the impact of buybacks on the individual who gets the compensation, but to talk about the impact and the flow-on impact of what that buyback leads to, that's my concern," Davey said.

"That's why Tony Burke, when he was Water Minister, actually wrote into the Basin Plan that this last portion of water that everyone is arguing about now, this last 450 [gigalitres] and at the moment, that's what the government, the new ministry is proposing to rip out of the Basin Plan and I can't support that.

"When you look at the citrus packing sheds and the wine production companies, the dairy production companies, processors, the rice mills and the grain traders, they're the people that don't get compensated, they're the people that if you don't have enough oranges going to that citrus packing shed, they don't get compensation, they get a redundancy letter.

"That's where we start to lose the passion and the community that makes the regions we live in so vibrant and such lovely places to live, but they're the ones that suffer and that's my concern, this is not about the individual, this is about the community."


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