Four Corners - Backlash in the Basin
"Burn the plan, burn the plan."
This was the chant of angry irrigators in Griffith, NSW, as they set fire to the document containing what they believed to be the plan for their destruction. The document made clear to them that the organisation in charge of the Murray Darling Basin was saying the current way of doing business in the Basin will not continue. And that can only mean there is less water to go around. And for a people who measure their wealth in water, the discussion was inflammatory.
These comments give a flavour of the passionate lobbying being experienced by the Federal Government and the body charged with reforming the system, the Murray Darling Authority. The program examines the enormous political pressure being placed upon the Authority in interviews with the newly appointed Chair and the Federal Water Minister.
With the Government promising to put a decision before Parliament in 12 months time, they must decide who gets the water and just how much. A pain-free solution is unlikely, so will the politicians have the ticker to make the tough decisions? Will the largest water reform plan in the nation's history deliver a healthy river system, or will it be stymied by political compromise?
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