12 December 2018 The Federal Government must release the independent Sefton & Associates report detailing community and industry views on potential additional impact assessment criteria to avoid further hardship from any on-farm works towards recovering another 450GL. GMID Water Leadership co-chair and Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed said the report must be made public before Friday’s meeting of Basin Water Ministers in Melbourne. After agreeing in June to finalise an agreed socio-economic test for the recovery of the additional 450 GL of ‘upwater’ by Christmas, the Federal Government sat on their hands for months, only managing to pull together some hasty community consultation in November after both the Victorian and NSW Governments – and the GMID Water Leadership – had taken the initiative to develop their own criteria,” Ms Sheed said. “Now they’re refusing to release the report publicly prior to the Ministerial Council meeting on Friday – this simply isn’t good enough.”
12 October 2018 The States and Commonwealth must adopt the non-negotiable, no impact test for the 450 GL ‘upwater’ program developed by northern Victorian business and community leaders, and released today. “They promised no more water recovery if it caused more hardship but we’re still waiting to see the more robust impact test they promised, much less be consulted on it,” says GMID Water Leadership co-chair and Independent Member for Shepparton District, Suzanna Sheed. “It is disappointing regional communities such as ours are forced to do the work of Government to demonstrate the harsh reality on the ground, but we will continue to fight to have our voices heard.”
18 September 2018 Ensuring the long-term sustainability of communities in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District was the central focus of a water workshop in Shepparton yesterday. GMID Water Leadership co-chair and Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed said the workshop was an important step in securing a strong future for the local irrigation industry under the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
12 September 2018 Water leaders in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District will meet next week to determine what socio-economic neutrality means for the region under the Murray Darling Basin Plan. The workshop will aim to develop a set of principles appropriate to the highly productive agricultural region that would help inform a new, wider socio-economic test due to be applied to the recovery of a further 450GL of water from farmers.
18 July 2018 The Commonwealth’s announcement it will pay 1.75 times the going market rate for water entitlements amounts to a deliberate inflationary intervention in an already overheated water market. GMID Water Leadership co-chair David McKenzie warns the Expression of Interest process announced this week also seems like buyback by stealth, given participants apparently need not independently prove their infrastructure project results in water savings. "It doesn’t take a genius to work out this will drive up water entitlement prices for everyone across the southern Murray-Darling Basin," he says. High Reliability entitlements are currently selling around $3300/ML in Victoria and $3500/ML in South Australia. The EoI effectively offers ~$6000/ML. GMID Water Leadership co-chair Suzanna Sheed, Independent MP for Shepparton District, says it is highly irresponsible for any government to interfere in the market in this way and further undermine irrigated agriculture's commercial viability. "We understood that the ministerial council agreement last month to develop additional socioeconomic impact criteria would apply to all additional water recovery," she says. “Now we learn the Commonwealth apparently will only apply that additional criteria to on-farm projects in Victoria and New South Wales."
8 June 2018 The advocacy of the GMID community has paid dividends with Basin ministers today clearly listening to the hundreds of voices that joined our campaign to highlight the impacts of removing another 450 GL from the southern Basin irrigation pool.
GMID Water Leadership co-chair, Suzanna Sheed, Independent MP for Shepparton District, welcomed today’s agreement by the Basin Ministers as the big first step towards delivering the Basin Plan as a genuine triple-bottom line reform.
“It has been so pleasing to see the community from Cobram to Swan Hill get behind the GMID Water Leadership’s #fairflow campaign, and make their voices heard all the way to Canberra,” Ms Sheed said.
“The Basin ministers listened, and today put politics aside in favour of a sensible and measured way forward to avoid imposing further hardship on our region, while still seeking more water for our rivers. They are to be congratulated.
23 April 2018 The Goulburn Murray Irrigation District is demanding a fair flow from the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in a campaign launched today by GMID Water Leadership. “Our farmers have contributed more water to the environment than any others in the southern Basin over the last decade,” said GMID Water Leadership co-chair David McKenzie. “We are pleased to see the 2100 GL recovered so far being used to good environmental effect in our rivers and wetlands, but politicians in Canberra need to understand enough is enough." Click on the button to read our Media Release, and follow the campaign on Facebook (@fairflow4), Twitter #fairflow @gmid-leadership and Instagram.