Funds unlocked for Murray Irrigation

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The Land and Water Management Plan 2022 has been approved and funding unlocked. Photo by Supplied

The NSW Murray region will benefit from the announcement of judicial advice, which will unlock access to $8 million in funding for environmental, advocacy and education outcomes.

Murray Irrigation was delighted when a hearing in Sydney last month approved the Land and Water Management Plan 2022, which paves the way for utilisation of the funds it has held in trust.

The aim of the 2022 plan is to use these funds to deliver enduring improvements to the environment, which will then benefit landholders and the broader irrigation community across the Murray Irrigation footprint, according to Murray Irrigation acting chair Noel Baxter.

LWMP 2022 was prepared with support from the region’s landholder associations.

An advisory committee will be formed as a successor to the LWMP working groups.

It will take on responsibilities previously held by these groups and was drafted following community consultation.

Under the LWMP 2022, submissions will be invited for suitable projects that fall under what is referred to as the ‘three pillars’, involving advocacy, education, and research and development activities.

Funding for the projects will be considered by the advisory committee.

The plan is expected to be in place for 20 to 30 years.

Mr Baxter described the approval of the land and water plan as “a fantastic outcome that will promote long-term sustainable primary production and enhance the health of land and water throughout the region”.

He said the new plan was consistent with the four original land and water plans — Berriquin, Cadell, Denimein and Wakool — and aims to enable timely utilisation of the remaining balance of LWMP funds.

“The outcomes of the LWMP will be delivery of enduring improvements for the community by enhancing the environment in which we exist.”

Mr Baxter paid tribute to the efforts of Murray Irrigation director and former chair Steve Fawns who was the key driver of the process and brought all stakeholders together in the development of LWMP 2022.

He said the Landholder Advisory Committee would include members of the LHAs and would conduct its deliberations in an open and transparent manner, as it will comprise elected representatives accountable to their respective LWMP regions.