| September 26, 2018

MDBP MinCo speech

We understand that MINCo, the meeting of all the water ministers, will be held in mid-December. At MINCo, we're going to have a piece of work from the last MINCo meeting to do with the social and economic tests around taking more water out of the irrigators' pool that needs to be completed. We have it in the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. We have a 450-gigalitre amount of water, which is referred to as the up water. This 450 gigalitres can only be delivered to the environment from the irrigators' pool provided it can be proven that there will be no social and economic detriment to the irrigators or the regions.

It was agreed at the last MINCo that we need to develop a very plain English-speaking definition of what constitutes social and economic neutrality or benefit, or, for that matter, social and economic detriment. Once we can get that definition clear, we will be able to apply a very easily understood speaking definition around what constitutes social and economic neutrality. One of the things that needs to be engaged with this is that we need a definition that takes on board the greater benefits and impacts for the community, not just the individual. That has to be very clearly enunciated.

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