Floodplain Harvesting consultation, again
The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, Water Division late Friday night released their final version of their Independent Review of Floodplain Harvesting Policy Implementation as well as the NSW Government’s Floodplain Harvesting Action Plan to respond to this advice.
The NSW Government will also be holding public consultation on these documents, due to start in Narrabri on Monday, 9 September 2019.
Additional sessions will be held in:
- Dubbo, Tuesday 10 September 2019,
- Deniliquin, Thursday 12th September 2019,
- Dareton, Friday 13th September 2019 and
- Sydney, Wednesday 18 September 2019 (will be webcast).
We’ve asked for regional DPIE offices to be set up to access the webinar on Wednesday 18th for those that cannot make one of the locations. For GVIA members, our office will be set up with the webinar.
Zara Lowien, Executive Officer of the Gwydir Valley Irrigators Association, said it’s important that anyone in NSW that has a dam that can collect rainfall runoff from across their farm, considers attending a consultation session or the webinar.
“We are informing everyone with on farm infrastructure to consider attending an event as effective consultation must be broader than just those who have engaged in the licencing program to-date”.
“This program is no longer about only those who would traditionally consider themselves farmers that accesses a portion of water that has broken out of a river and is flowing across a floodplain. That’s because the NSW Government’s current position is that anyone who collects and impedes this water as well as excess rainfall runoff from their farm (not currently calculated via an exemption or licence), is now floodplain harvesting.”
“This definition means that the term floodplain harvesting is not only relevant for those in the northern NSW valleys, where the healthy floodplains program is initially being implemented but it is state-wide” she said.
“We suspect it is why that the consultation locations now include other regions, outside those valleys where the project is being implemented” she said.
“We understand the consultation sessions will include more information about proposed new monitoring arrangements for storages as part of the Floodplain Harvesting Action Plan for implementing floodplain harvesting and rainfall licencing”.
“It’s important that everyone is aware of the precedent being proposed for the northern valley’s because as a state-wide policy it must, apply across the state”.
“This new monitoring strategy implicates every farmer with on-farm infrastructure like a dam that can collect rainfall that runs-off their farm, to use at a later time” she said.
“NSW has not clearly explained these broader implications for farmers outside of the targeted five northern valleys and given the significance of the new work program to be announced, it’s important that all impacted farmers have an opportunity to be consulted on your future monitoring, reporting and compliance requirements when collecting excess rainfall within your farm” said Ms Lowien.
To register to attend one of these sessions please visit: https://www.industry.nsw.gov.au/water/plans-programs/healthy-floodplains-project/harvesting
For the GVIA position responses to false claims about Floodplain Harvesting, please see our webpage.
Members can access a summary of the peer review via our members update.