Region must say bye to buybacks

8th August 2017 2:43 PM
WATER WORKS: Murray-Darling Association CEO Emma Bradbury, Balonne Shire CEO Matthew Magin and Balonne Shire Mayor Richard Marsh after the meeting in Roma on Wednesday. WATER WORKS: Murray-Darling Association CEO Emma Bradbury, Balonne Shire CEO Matthew Magin and Balonne Shire Mayor Richard Marsh after the meeting in Roma on Wednesday. Contributed

THE Murray-Darling Association is clear on one thing after talking with key stakeholders in Roma last Wednesday - nobody wants to see water buybacks continue.

Region 12 of the MDA hosted a meeting to openly discuss issues affecting stakeholders and provide constructive feedback.

MDA chief executive Emma Bradbury said they wanted to give local government an opportunity to have a voice in decision making which took place at state and national levels.

"Regional consultation with local government across the Murray-Darling Basin region is very important,” Ms Bradbury said.

"A key thing I'll take away from this meeting is that there is a serious aversion to water buybacks.”

Ms Bradbury said there was strong support from everyone at the meeting that water recovery in the form of buybacks should not continue.

"The impact from buybacks on communities is devastating,” she said.

"We don't want to see any more of it happening.”

The MDA Region 12 chair, Balonne Shire Mayor Richard Marsh, said the meeting gave mayors from around the region and other stakeholders a chance to have their voices heard.

"It was an opportunity for us to get together as a combined voice and get some of our ideas heard,” Cr Marsh said.

"There were a number of things discussed, including the water buybacks.”

Earlier this year a Northern Basin review found St George and Dirranbandi to be hit hard by the socio-economic effects of buybacks and recommended water recovery in the region be slashed from 390 gigalitres to 320 gigalitres.

Cr Marsh said this recommendation was strongly supported by those in the meeting.

Maranoa MP David Littleproud was also at the meeting.