Modelling constraints won't make them go away!

10 Oct 2012 11:27 AM - Media Release - Basin Plan

The Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia (RGA) has expressed dismay at the modelling of the relaxation of operational constraints in the southern connected Murray Darling Basin system released today by the Murray Darling Basin Authority.

RGA President, Les Gordon, said the whole basis of the modelling is flawed and questioned how this work can possibly add value to the Basin Plan debate.

“Just feeding data into a model is not addressing the issues around the constraints. It is simply nirvana - a wish list of what might be possible if all the natural and physical constraints could be removed”. 

Mr Gordon said “While it may appease people who do not understand the nature of the constraints and how the river system works, for those of us who live and work along the rivers, it defies logic.  You simply cannot redirect rivers around natural barriers, rebuild numerous roads and bridges, relocate towns and cities because you have modelled releasing more water from upstream storages.

The volumes of water being modelled would almost certainly result in widespread flooding and those affected would not differentiate between a natural flood or an environmental flood.  The consequences would be devastating for individuals, their industries and their communities.”

 Mr Gordon said, “Unfortunately this modelling has addressed environmental impacts only without any recognition that the southern connected system is a highly modified working river system with both private and public developments which must be considered.  It takes no account of the negative social and economic impacts that would have to be managed, nor who would pay for those impacts. 

Federal Water Minister, Tony Burke, continues to say that the Gillard Government is committed to reform for the Murray-Darling Basin that restores our rivers to health, supports strong regional communities and ensures sustainable food production.  He should reject this modelling and get back to negotiating a balanced Basin Plan” Mr Gordon concluded.

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