A word from Rob Massina, President of RGA

Water Sharing & Resource Plans; Independent Social and Economic Panel Assessment; Australian Competition Consumer Commission water market inquiry; Research & Development Corporation review and Australian Agriculture to $100 Billion by 2030 submissions. It has been a very solid month for the RGA team as a whole and a lot of the above is ongoing. 

In this month's RiceMatters, and all future editions, we'll be providing you with details about how 'Your RGA team are advocating for you'.

We have provided our Water Sharing Plan submission and have asked the NSW government for clarification on the language changes that have been used, prior to forwarding to the MDBA for approval. This is a critical piece to the access of supplementary water/off allocation water going forward and it is imperative that this access is not jeopardised. 

This month I had the opportunity to travel to Canberra for the National Farmers Federation Members Council meeting. We heard from Mick Keelty, who has been recently appointed to the role as Interim Inspector General into the Murray Darling Basin Plan. The RGA responded to his presentation positively, and clearly expressed the issues of transparency and trust around allocations and the Plan. It was pleasing to see that he has addressed these concerns already at a Senate estimates meeting, particularly around the layers of complexity in understanding who’s water is who’s.

The Canberra trip also gave us an opportunity to meet with Minister Littleproud’s office to get clarification around comments made about sudden changes to the water market. It was important for the RGA to understand what had actually been said, so that you, our members are not hearing non-truths. 

Pushing to improve transparency and ensuring no further erosion in property rights are critical to the RGA's activities in what is a fast moving issue. Providing farmers, industries and communities the confidence to invest in the future is paramount. We continue to push the message around what is in the best interests of Australian irrigated agriculture and we see that as a balance of commodities across our region. Unintended consequences of recent water reform needs to be challenged so family farming business’s can continue to invest.

Finally I want to congratulate Erika Heffer, RGA's Land Care Coordinator and Communications Officer on being awarded this year's champion in the NSW Austcover Young Landcare Leadership category.  We're very proud of the dedication and passion that Erika brings to her work.