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NSW to cap Murray Darling Basin water buybacks

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NSW Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson has followed through on her threat to bypass the Commonwealth, introducing a cap on water buybacks towards Murray-Darling Basin Plan environmental targets.

In November, Ms Hodgkinson drafted an order under the Water Management Act which would cap buyback at three per cent per valley, per decade.


"Effective from today, the NSW government will restrict the amount of water which the Commonwealth government can purchase for the environment as part of its Murray-Darling Basin Plan," Ms Hodgkinson said in a statement.
"We tried to work collaboratively with the Commonwealth to find strategies that will improve water use efficiency, allow basin communities to adjust, and make water available for environmental flows, however NSW has been brushed aside.
"The Commonwealth government has ignored the very real concerns of NSW basin communities about the potential size and pace of an environmental water buyback program, so the NSW government has been forced to act.
"From today, further water purchases for the environment will be restricted to three per cent per valley per decade, a more sustainable rate of purchase which will provide much needed breathing space and time for rural economies to adjust."

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