19 October 2018
VFF welcomes States’ Basin Plan criteria
The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) has welcomed the new Basin Plan socio-economic criteria developed
by the Victorian and New South Wales governments.
At the same time, the VFF has criticised the Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources for
creating uncertainty for farmers by suddenly announcing consultation sessions next week.
VFF Water Council Chairman Richard Anderson said the criterion developed by the States ensure projects
that recover any of the 450 gigalitres of upwater will not have negative third party impacts on the irrigation
system, water market or communities.
“Just as the environmental equivalence test for environmental projects protects the environment, we
believe these principles will protect agriculture, farmers and regional communities,” said Mr Anderson.
“It is a testament to the NSW and Victorian governments’ commitment to the Basin Plan that they are willing
to meaningfully consult communities.”
Mr Anderson said this was in sharp contrast to the Federal Department, which on Wednesday night
informed the VFF that it would be holding public consultations on additional Basin Plan socio-economic
criteria for on-farm projects, with Victorian dates scheduled for next week.
“Informing a key stakeholder with less than a week’s notice is far from meaningful consultation,” said Mr
“We believe any socio-economic criteria must apply to all water recovery projects, not just on-farm projects.
“The evidence is in – previous on-farm projects, in which farmers had to return water to the Commonwealth
to receive funding for on-farm upgrades, hurt regional communities.
“The Murray-Darling Basin is experiencing another severe drought and we fear the Commonwealth wants to
recover more water when farmers are hurting the most.
“The VFF calls on Minister Littleproud to support farming communities by adopting the Victorian and NSW
governments’ rigorous socio-economic principles as a matter of urgency,” said Mr Anderson.
Richard Anderson, VFF Water Council Chair: 0428 832 210
Andrew MacDonald, Stakeholder Media & Communications Advisor, 0418 282 875
About the VFF
The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is dedicated to representing the interests of farmers and making a
positive difference to their businesses and communities. We strive to create an environment for our
members, our farmers, that enables profitable, safe, sustainable production to ensure an enduring social
licence in a community that respects and values the sector.