• Hannah Phillips

New Murray Darling Deal Favours Irrigators and Indigenous Groups

On Monday the government and the opposition reached an agreement on the Murray Darling Basin which adopts a new approach of eschewing water buybacks in favour of undertaking works on the river system to deliver water to key sites more efficiently.

It means 605 fewer gigalitres of water will be taken for the environment.

The deal also supports a plan to reduce the take for the environment by 70 gigalitres in the northern half of the river system.

The new deal also reflects a bipartisan commitment to indigenous water rights.

The agreed measures include $40 million for Aboriginal communities to invest in water entitlements for both economic and cultural purposes, a $20 million economic development fund to benefit Aboriginal groups most affected by the basin plan, and $1.5 million to support Aboriginal waterway assessments.

Kate Critchley