Member update 26/11/2019

Click here to read the independenreport commissioned by SunRice

12 months ago we expressed our deep regret to family and friends in the Riverina community who were impacted by the job losses announced by SunRice. We are saddened to hear of further cutbacks today.


12 months ago we said that "A further reduction of the amount of water available for producing food and fibre means more people without a job, jobs across our entire community and the nation -  because that is the power of water.  Without water we have nothing."


Next year's crop is predicted to be the second lowest on record and we understand that these cutbacks are a direct consequence of that. We also acknowledge SunRice's offer of record fixed price rice grower contracts to maintain a milling program at its Deniliquin and Leeton facilities. But for our growers; particularly those on the Murray who are looking at a second year of zero allocations, even this offer could not counter the exorbitant price of water on the open water markets.


The RGA welcomes the independent report from RM Consultancy Group (RMCG), commissioned by SunRice. It reinforces what we already know and have been voicing to governments for many years now.


"The RMCG analysis shows that in the last nine years there has been disproportionately lower water availability for General Security water entitlement holders in the southern Murray-Darling Basin, with the effect of eroding their water rights in contradiction of the commitments made to these farmers".


The RGA has been working collaboratively with SunRice on our interpretation of this independent report. 


The Basin Plan has been exposed as having unintended consequences.

Through the RGA Water Policy Committee’s contributions to the following:

        the ACCC Water review,

        the Socio-economic panel reviewing the impacts on our communities,

        the Water Sharing Plans for the Murray and Murrumbidgee

        and more, 

we have further unmasked the fallacy that the Plan is the best we've got and assert that it should not be delivered in full and on time. The RGA will continue to promote changes and solutions at both the federal and the NSW state government level.


We call on all Members to reach out to those in our Community who have been affected by these job cuts, and we look forward to rains and change.