Environmental Watering Update
The NSW and Commonwealth Governments are undertaking environmental water delivery across the Gwydir, Mehi and Carole systems to replenish large river pools which act as fish refuge. Initial environmental water releases are being used to restart the rivers after an extended period of no flow. After river startup, flows will be in combination with WaterNSW releases for stock and domestic flows down the systems.Read More
Drought Information update
The NSW Government has updated their Drought Information page with new information on how they are managing water and critical water shortages right around the state. It reads "The areas experiencing the worst effects of this drought are the northern Murray-Darling Basin and the Lower Darling. Inflows to each of the major northern inland NSW regulated rivers are now the lowest on record. Northern NSW has experienced many two-year periods of sustained low inflows. We’re now entering an unprecedented third year." For more facts behind the drought and river management options, visit their page and look through the critical valleys and their management or the other information sources.Read More
Concerns raised over wetland fire
The NSW and Commonwealth Governments have significant natural assets in our region - NSW is responsible for land and water and the
Commonwealth are the largest single water entitlement owner in the valley. While a farmer is financially accountable for their
decisions and socially accountable as custodians to manage their land - not to mention the rules and regulations they must abide by. Who
are our government's accountable to when they make decisions on how they manage their assets? It's the community!
Zara Lowien said "Its important that the community are aware of what is done with the water that is delivered to these areas and how those decisions are made"...
NSW makes metering call
Today, the NSW Government announced that the it will adjust the first three start dates for the new metering rules, meaning the first roll-out date for larger than 500mm pipe diameters is now 1 December 2020. This announcement, while welcomed and well-overdue, unfortunately fails to acknowledge that the NSW Government has failed to outline to water users what data logger or telemetry devices are approved for installation as part of the new regulations. This decision is still pending.Read More
GVIA calls for action from NSW on metering
Today, the GVIA launched two videos calling on the NSW Government to finalise their decision regarding changes to the NSW Non-urban Water Metering Regulations that were consulted on back in August 2019. Executive Officer, Zara Lowien said "it's now less than two-months before the first deadline for water users to ensure their metering equipment meets the new rules and no one knows what data logger or telemetry units are approved for installation. Without this decision, no water user in NSW can be compliant. Farmers all around NSW are under enough pressure already, enough is enough".Read More
Landline features story on feral pig trapping
On Sunday 29th September Landline featured a story on the pig monitoring project that was completed in the Berrigal Creek region over the
last three years. The collars used in that project are now in use for the GVIA project.
We have eight collared pigs and a camera grid monitoring pig movements in our region, as shown in the image of the collared boar. Area wide control activities will begin in the next few weeks. If we are to achieve our target 80-90% control we need everyone to be involved in effective control activities.
Statement regarding the northern basin
Groups across the northern basin communities would like to correct several claims made during an interview with Michael Condon on the ABC’s ‘Country Hour’ on 2 September 2019. These statements are demonstrably false, and not supported by any evidence. The fact that they were broadcast without challenge points to the lack of knowledge of water issues and the tendency to perpetuate opinion as fact, as in other recent ABC programs.Read More
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