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QFF & LGAQ: Murray Darling Basin plans will hurt Queensland communities

News Release

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

QFF & LGAQ: Murray Darling Basin plans will hurt Queensland communities

The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) and the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) have united in their calls for communities to have their say on water buybacks as proposed in the Murray Darling Basin Authority’s (MDBA) Northern Basin Review.

The proposed 320GL water recovery out of Northern Basin communities will have devastating impacts on agricultural businesses and result in significant job losses. 

QFF President Stuart Armitage said it was essential the affected communities have their say on the proposed buybacks.

"The MDBA’s own research shows that the communities in the Northern Basin are already feeling the impacts of the water buybacks, with more on the way," Mr Armitage said.

"The MDBA plan means the Dirranbandi/St George region is expected to lose 35 per cent of all full time jobs. Continued buybacks will decrease agricultural production in the region, negatively impacting people that are directly and indirectly employed, as well as the community as a whole.

"It is hard for even the most resilient of communities to recovery from this level of economic and social damage."

Local Government Association of Queensland chief executive Greg Hallam said there were real concerns about the impact the proposed buyback would have on local communities.

"The communities in the Balonne Shire have first-hand experience of what reductions in agricultural production will mean for the regional economy," Mr Hallam said.

"The loss of jobs drives people away. Many of them do not return and that not only has economic impacts but social implications as well.

"The council has reported that enrolments at Dirranbandi State School have dropped by 50 percent. We cannot support any plan that inflicts pain on these communities and it is important the MDBA hears from those directly affected by its decisions."

Both QFF and LGAQ are encouraging the MDBA to implement a suite of complementary measures that will deliver better environmental outcomes while avoiding unacceptable job losses across local communities that are already suffering.

Submissions to the MDBA Northern Basin Plan are open until 24 February 2017. Individuals are encouraged to make a submission to ensure MDBA receive the message the proposed buybacks will impose an unacceptable impact on our communities.

Media enquiries: Craig Johnstone LGAQ 0487 007 870

Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006


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