‘INDEPENDENT MP Tony Windsor has raised three interim findings from his House of Representatives Murray Darling Basin inquiry, highlighting the potentially detrimental impacts of the “Swiss cheese effect” of water buy backs on irrigation districts. Mr Windsor, as Chairman of the Regional Australia Committee, which is conducting the inquiry, has written to Water Minister Tony Burke and Regional Australia Minister Simon Crean raising the Committee’s concerns.
‘In doing so, the Committee has asked that more strategic buy back arrangements be considered as a matter of urgency.
‘As well as highlighting the “Swiss cheese effect”, the Committee has also raised unanimous concerns about the impact of the current taxation arrangements on irrigators, resulting from water reform such as grants for investments in water efficiency.
‘Concerns have also been raised about implications of the Murray Darling Basin Authority’s consideration of overbank flows in their modelling of water requirements on environmental icon sites and in consultation with stakeholders, opportunities for engineering alternatives.