Citrus Australia slams basin plan
Citrus Australia CEO Judith Damiani said more than 2.1 million people work in the Basin.
“If it was a city it would be Australia’s third largest, below Melbourne and just above Brisbane. This ‘city’, producing over a third of Australia’s food, is being asked to give up around 20% of its water for food and fiber production,” she said.
“Low cost international producers and a high dollar are already increasing pressures on Australian producers and food manufacturers – why would our own governments knowingly contribute to this pain?”
She highlighted that almost all of Australia’s oranges are produced in the Basin and the nation’s citrus industry is worth around AUD$500 million (US$492 million).
She said the plan would have a significant impact on citrus-growing communities and other parts of the supply chain.
“Many recent socioeconomic studies have identified serious impacts on irrigators and local communities particularly in the Murrumbidgee, Sunraysia and Riverland citrus growing areas.
“We certainly made our views known in our submission to the MDBA (Murray-Darling Basin Authority) and presentation to the Senate inquiry last month.
“We need more support for the Basin ‘city’ people if this scale of reform is even plausible.”
Photo: Radio Adelaide