Qld irrigators on edge over water deal

25th July 2007Queensland irrigators are on edge, believing it will be “a very tense week” as the implications of Victoria’s failing to agree to Prime Minister John Howard’s $10 billion national water plan for the Murray Darling Basin strike home.

The Victorian Government’s refusal to continue negotiations with the Commonwealth might change the whole political dynamic surrounding the nation’s historic water deal.

Now the Prime Minister has stepped in to say the Commonwealth will move to control the Murray-Darling system, with or without Victoria joining the national agreement

“We had some sympathy, as did the other states, with some of the points that Victoria was making,” chief executive Queensland Farmers Federation, John Cherry said today.

“But this new development opens up a range of significant legal questions

“Does that mean the draft we have in front of us, based on a referral of powers, is no longer the draft we will be dealing with?

“Are there now going to be separate pieces of legislation to cover the other three states?”

SOURCE: Breaking news from Queensland County Life weekly newspaper