Media Release


Floodplain Harvesting – we need solutions, not politics.

Today’s historic rescind motion is not the solution irrigators want, but with unclear rules in place and rain forecast, something needed to be done.

“It should never have got to this stage,” said NSW Irrigators’ Council CEO Claire Miller.

“Governments have had 20 years to get this right, and enough is enough. We need all water use, including floodplain harvesting, to require a licence, meter and be at sustainable levels, for every river valley in the state, and without delay.”

“We had irrigation farmers who had faced 3 years of the worst drought our nation has seen, with absolutely no water for 3 years, praying that rain doesn’t come because of fears of prosecution if the rain falls on their farm, given the laws were so unclear.”

“Whilst the original regulation is not ideal, we can all agree that some rules are better than no rules, which is where it landed.”

“The only thing worse than bad policy is no policy at all.”

“We need to see urgent changes to get a better regulation in place that addresses all the concerns raised, but at least we no longer have drought-stricken farmers fearing rain.”

NSW Irrigators’ Council call on Minister Pavey to introduce a replacement regulation immediately that addresses the concerns raised on the original regulation.

The biggest concern raised was that there was no sunset clause for when the regulation would cease to exist, so people were rightly concerned it could delay the much needed licencing framework, which is the only long-term enduring solution.

“Any new regulation must have an expiry date, and that must be when licensing is due to commence, so we don’t have this delayed any longer.”

Others raised concerns about the legal basis for the regulation.

“With all the fallout from the disallowance, it became very clear that the laws around floodplain harvesting are not clear, and that’s simply not acceptable.”

People also raised concerns around the timing in which the regulation was introduced, which was right before a flooding event.

“For goodness sake, let’s not wait until the next flood to rush a half-constructed Noah’s ark through, let’s be prepared and have this sorted well before the next flood.”

The irrigation industry aren’t the ones fighting tougher regulation of FPH – we want to see change too, and we too, feel we have waited too long to see it.

“We can’t be clearer – irrigators want regulation, we want to be sustainable, but we need laws in place to comply with.”

“Bring on tougher regulation we say – we just want a solution.”

“We want to see all sides of politics working together to find sensible solutions.”

Secure - Sustainable - Productive