WATER ALLOCATIONS FOR RIVER MURRAY IRRIGATORS

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will give greater support to River Murray irrigators in their forward planning.

The Problem

River Murray irrigators make a significant contribution to the South Australian economy.

They use their water allocations to grow wine grapes, citrus and horticultural crops which earn valuable income on export and domestic markets.

It is a tough business because it is difficult to predict from one year to the next how much water will be available.

Irrigators have been told that for 2017-18 they will receive a 100% water allocation because of last spring’s highest river inflows for 23 years.

But just a year ago, they were informed they would only get a minimum of 36% for 2016-17 following a very dry year across the Basin.

This was later adjusted to 52%.

While recently the South Australian Government has increased the frequency with which they forecast water allocations, more needs to be done.

The State Liberals' Plan

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will give greater support to River Murray irrigators in their forward planning.

We will give irrigators the information and tools to plan ahead through the provision of probability scenarios for water allocations on a three monthly basis, rather than annually as has occurred until recently.

Our framework will be consistent with current practice in New South Wales and Victoria where regular probability scenarios are given to irrigators in those jurisdictions.

Giving irrigators greater certainty in their business planning will also assist the efforts to ensure the River Murray is sustainably managed.

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