Current Water Availability update
Water availability has been updated following the recent resource assessment, availability for irrigation has increased due to trade of high security allocations into the general security pool. Currently there is 3GL available in irrigation general security accounts but with limited deliverability and 35GL for environmental water managers. We remain in Stage 3 of drought management as the Copeton Dam holds predominately critical water supplies only.Read More
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.
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.
New evidence on water sharing plan review presented
Irrigation groups from northern NSW have added their voice to concerns with the quality of the Natural Resources Commissions draft report
reviewing the Barwon Darling Water Sharing Plan.
They collectively provided a submission to the draft review saying that the NRC appears to have moved away from its previous approach to reviews and have provided no evidence of a former robust process in this draft report.
Northern irrigators say they are frustrated that the NRC relied heavily on expert opinion with “so-called” supporting evidence that was not publicly available.
The GVIA also provided their own submission.
Inland Rail upgrade needs to be a drought measure
Together with the Moree and Garah branches of NSW Farmers, the Gwydir Valley CGA and GrowerCo, we recently wrote to our Federal and State local members regarding the proposed rail-way line upgrade for the Inland Rail. The new proposal will see construction not starting until October 2020 (after being due to start at the end of 2019) and our rail line for Narrabri to Moree will now be closed for 17 months. We wrote because construction will not happen during the drought but rather when the drought is potentially breaking and recovering, thus only adding further economic hardship to the farmer and community. We propose to move forward the upgrades, to complete a large part whilst no commodities are moving by rail for export and thus minimise disruption once the drought breaks. This approach also represents an opportunity to provide employment and an economic boost to the region in a time when our community is struggling. We're asking members to contact local members and elected representatives as well as ARTC, to support this proposal. See link for ARTC contact information.Read More
Jobs for the Future in Regional Areas
This is a great opportunity for our local community to inform the Senate Select Committee inquiry into Jobs for the Future in Regional Areas
about the opportunities and challenges in our region. The Committee inquiry will cover a number of matters including: new industries and
employment opportunities for regions; existing jobs in regions in clean energy technology and ecological services and their future
significance; lessons learned from structural adjustments and privatisation and their impact on labour markets and local economies; the
importance of long-term planning to support the diversification of supply chain industries and local economies; and measures to guide the
transition into new industries and employment.
Submission closing date is 6 September 2019.
Pig Management Project
The Gwydir Strategic Pest Management initiative that brings landholders and National Parks together in the management of feral pigs is well
underway now. Despite the dry conditions there are still significant feral pig numbers out there, and they are still breeding, so we all
need to remain vigilant in our control of these feral pests.
Critical to managing feral pigs is to use all control mechanisms. The LLS have a Winter Feral Pig Control Program running until the end of August, producers who are working with their neighbours trapping or baiting are encouraged to contract the LLS on 1300 795 299 to source grain for trapping and baiting.
Securing town water supplies are always priority one
Criticism of the NSW Government’s socio-economic assessment included in part of the public release of the Murray to Broken Hill pipeline
Business Case outlining the decision to build a pipeline for an alternate water supply for Broken Hill (finished
earlier this year) is trying to lay blaim on northern irrigators without justification once more.
Zara Lowien said “It seems there is no shortage of drought-deniers that claim we are either not in drought or that we’ve never had a critical water supply issue before” she said.
“They simply miss the fact that when it doesn’t rain, our rivers don’t flow and there’s no water for anyone.” she said.
Current Water Availability update
Current water availability in the Gwydir Valley has been updated following the July Resource Assessment. The region remains in Stage 3 for Drought Management with Copeton Dam steady at 9%. Current resources are secured for essential supplies, with limited carryover remaining (2,000ML for irrigators and 35,000ML for environment), although with loss accounts in deficit by 39,000ML, WaterNSW will work with water users to ensure coordination of releases or to utilise any natural inflows, if they occur. This means that delivery of water allocation is not on demand and unlikely to provide for water deliveries west of the township of Moree.Read More
Submissions due for NSW Metering Regulations
Submissions are due on Monday, 12 August to provide feedback on the NSW Metering Regulations. The GVIA is providing a number of recommendations around on-the-ground challenges with implementation of regulations, including amending the telemetry roll-out date to 1 December 2020 and a legislative process to address lack of water to undertake wet-testing of new and existing meters. We are asking for individual submissions to be made via the NSW Government's Have your Say website. For more information click below to see our video.Read More