SRI publishes Updates to keep everyone informed of what they have been doing, You can find these updates available to download below.
Just in case you need reminding about what we are fighting for here is a picture of a 10GL storage dam just outside of Moree. The scale of this dam has to be seen to be believed. Surrounded by some of this year’s two million megalitre, two million bale cotton harvest, this is a prefect example of deceit surrounding floodplain harvesting in the north. Unmetered and unlicensed FPH is directly affecting your allocation and is taking water away from you as a metered and licensed irrigator in the south. A recent report commissioned by Slattery and Johnson has found take in the north has risen 2.5 times above the legislated legal 94 Cap from a storage level of 574GL to 1395GL in 2020 – physical storages have increased from 400 in 1988 to 1833 in 2020. Sadly, this dam was only one of many that we flew over on a recent trip from Wagga to Moree to Dirrranbandi (Cubbie Station) Wilcannia, Broken Hill and back.
Licensing of FPH is imminent and we stand to lose a hell of a lot if we don’t fight annual licensing of 390GL plus a 500 per cent carryover in any given year. Don’t think for one minute we are not working hard to return water back to where it rightfully belongs -to our farmers, our region our community and our environment. We shouldn’t have to accept in a year like this we are only ever going to be able to access 50 per cent of our allocation.
Happy New Year to all our SRI landholders. If last year was anything to go by, it looks like we are in for a hell of a ride in 2021 but we remain as determined as ever to see water and prosperity return to the region.
Floodplain harvesting and submissions have taken up a huge amount of our time over the last couple of months, with more to come. Updates on all this are within this months newsletter as well as a letter from our Chair, Chris Brooks.
Upcoming, each association in SRI has important landholder meetings, so please make sure you get along to those too and we will see you there.
We are aware most of you are busily preparing for harvest or racing around baling hay and life hasn’t slowed down in the world of water either. Here at SRI, things are as hectic as ever with flood plain harvesting, Justin Fields disallowance motion, NRAR, water transparency, land holder meetings and IPART taking up a significant amount of time.
Our wonderful magazine Food For Thought has been published and the feedback we have received to date has been very positive. The magazine shows the true face through great stories of the farmers behind our region. We will be handing out hard copies at each of the up and coming land holder meetings. We also have our eye on upgrading the SRI website to make it more appealing and user friendly.
We envisage the site to become a place where our shareholders can not only find all the latest information but also a place featuring and profiling our farming families – please do not hesitate to contact me if you have a general on farm story, are trialing something new, having a farm day or just have a great picture or story you would like to share.
Our October Edition of our newsletter is not far away and this will include some of the work SRI have been doing over the last month, including disallowance into Flood Plain Harvesting. In addition to this, SRI would like to let you know that we have written to NRAR asking for legal clarity around the next large rainfall event and we are invite you all to write to your federal, state and local MP, as well as the MDBA and NRAR on this matter. We have included an example (template) to help you get started and a list of email addresses below should you wish to do the same:
WATER MINISTER MELINDA PAVEY: firstname.lastname@example.org
WATER MINISTER LISA NEVILLE: email@example.com
MEMBER FOR FARRAR: firstname.lastname@example.org
FEDERAL WATER MINISTER: email@example.com
NATIONAL FARMERS FEDERATION: firstname.lastname@example.org
As we gallop into spring it has been a pretty hectic time here on the SRI front. There has been a lot going on from an advocacy point of view and we have a pretty busy month ahead of us.
In this latest newsletter, we update you on whats happening within SRI, including Class Action, various campaigns and the publishing of our magazine 'Food for thought'.
There will be a series of meetings across the Riverina to update NSW Murray Valley General Security water entitlement holders on the position of the class action currently underway against the MDBA for river system management from 2016 to 2019.
All NSW Murray Valley General Security water entitlement holders are encouraged attend.
Tuesday September 8th, 2020
- Finley RSL Club 3pm
- Federal Hotel Berrigan 7pm
Wednesday September 9th, 2020
- Bunnaloo Hall, 3pm
- Wakool Club, 7pm
Thursday September 10th, 2020
-Deniliquin RSL, 3pm
If you are an accountant or lawyer looking to learn more about the case and how it may affect your clients, please contact Timothy Horne on 0498 050 276.
Alternatively, if you cannot make any of these meetings but would like to know more, please contact either Timothy Horne or your local representatives: Andrew Hicks - Murray Valley Private Diverters 0458 235 252, Andrew Kelly - West Corurgan 58 852 392 or Darcy Hare -Southern Riverina Irrigators 0437 794 723.
For public comment please contact Chris Brooks 0419 505 404
NSW Parliament are now accepting online petitions, so we need your help. 20,000 signatures in 3 months.
Please help us spread the word by taking a screen shot when you sign and post it on your Facebook page.
NSW Water Register TransparencyTo the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly, we the undersigned petitioners demand the NSW Government immediately implements legislation from the National Water Initiative (NWI) 2004, which was required to be implemented in all states in 2006. The NSW Government is required to update the Water Management Act 2000 to meet obligations to establish a basin wide water register. The Water Access Licence Register needs to “state unambiguously who owns the entitlement, and the nature of any encumbrances on it” and “ covers entitlements and trades (both permanent and temporary)” and will include the specific responsibilities of “water services providers”. The NSW Water register must therefore: 1] Publish required information of individuals and corporations if they hold a water entitlement or apply for a water access licence. All corporations who hold water entitlements should be required to disclose the names of related corporations, directors and major shareholders, including all licences operated by irrigation corporations. 2] Be accessible online and searchable by the public 3] Protect personal phone numbers, emails or residential addresses of individuals with water entitlements as per the Australian Privacy Act 1988 4] Be retrospective, thus backdating the required information to 2006 as per the agreements signed by all states in 2004.
It is important as irrigators in the Murray Valley that we jump on board and support the ACCC interim review into water markets, before their final report at the end of the year.
This report is different to many others because the ACCC actually has power to operate outside the Water Act and many of the issues they mention align with those being pursued by SRI.
Please find attached a list of key findings in the report.
The report can be accessed on the ACCC website at:
Submissions must be made by August 28 and can be sent to email@example.com or via post to
Director, Murray Darling Basin Inquiry, ACCC, GPO Box 313, Canberra ACT 2601
It is a numbers game and the more submissions they receive, the better it is for all of us and the future of our farms.
As you are all well aware, the political will to support us in our fight for a fair go has been sorely lacking leaving us to forge our own way forward and defend our right to fair and equitable water policy for all.
Rest assured everyone at SRI is busy doing the best they can and to help keep members up to date with what is happening, we will be producing a monthly newsletter.
If any landholders have input, feedback or queries do not hesitate to put in a call to your local president or get in touch with us directly.
A dry start
The season has opened with a zero percent general security allocation.
While this itself is not unusual, it comes on the back of six months of below average inflows, 50% allocation last year and in the face of forecast below average rainfall for the next three months.
Given that NSW and parts of Queensland are currently in crippling drought, our region is in the unique position where we could finish crops that could be used for stock feed if only we had water to finish our winter crops