Mayor slams floodplain harvesting

Published on 13 February 2020


Mayor Darriea Turley AM has expressed deep disappointment over the NSW Government's decision to allow northern irrigators to engage in floodplain harvesting after recent rainfall.

The decision allows irrigators on the Namoi floodplain, the Gwydir floodplain, and parts of the Barwon floodplain to harvest overland flows on their properties for three days.

Mayor Turley said the move was both bewildering and heartbreaking.

"Just last week the NSW Government was urging Queensland to prevent its irrigators from pumping, and now irrigators in our own State have been given the green light to start harvesting this critical flow," said Mayor Turley.

"We have desperate communities in the lower Darling relying on bores and bottled water, yet commercial interests are still being given priority access to water.

"This decision is just staggering. The people of Menindee, Wilcannia, and other lower Darling communities must feel completely abandoned."

Mayor Turley and Councillor Marion Browne will participate in an urgent meeting of the Murray Darling Association (MDA) at 12.30pm today.

"Councils in the MDA will meet today to determine a coordinated response to this situation," she said.

“I’ll be advocating for an immediate halt to floodplain harvesting, and I’m confident that sentiment will be shared across other participating Councils.

"The people of Broken Hill understand the concept of solidarity better than most, so it's critical that we continue to fight for our neighbours on the Darling."

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