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Water buybacks go ahead despite community objections

Dr Peta Derham from the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water with Bourke Deputy Mayor Lachlan Ford and and Bourke Council GM Leonie Brown at the water buyback information meeting in Bourke. Photo TWH

Commonwealth water buybacks will go ahead throughout the Murray Darling basin despite objections from communities suffering from earlier buybacks.

The government is going ahead with these buybacks, even though water users are well below their diversion limits on an annual basis.

Last week, Bourke and Walgett shire councils, together with local irrigators expressed concern about the plan to take more productive water from their communities.

At meetings held last Tuesday and Wednesday, the government was criticised for taking more water than needed under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, and of harming the social and economic fabric of local communities in the process.

At Walgett, Mayor of Walgett Shire, Councillor Jane Keir, said that previous buybacks had done damage to the community of Collarenebri, and further buybacks were not welcome.

“Since all the irrigation water was bought out of Collarenebri, many local shops and businesses have closed and jobs and families have disappeared from our communities,” Councillor Keir said.

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