2017 Ricegrowers' Association of Australia annual conference garners plenty of interest in Leeton

“THERE is no plan B for the Murray-Darling Basin Plan”.

Those are the words of Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s (MDBA) chief executive officer Phillip Glyde, who told Thursday’s Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia (RGA) conference he was yet to come anyone who “liked” the plan.

Mr Glyde’s session at the event was one many made sure they were available for, particularly as a result of the recent Four Corners report. 

“I’ve gone to great lengths to try and say there is no plan B, we must deliver the Basin Plan on time,” he said. 

“There is no real alternative. We have a bipartisan, multi-jurisdictional, six-government commitment to doing it. 

“You might not like the plan. In fact I've not met a single person who likes the current version of the plan.

“They all want something different. 

“But, I’ve also not met a single person who has said we could have gone on the way we were going on in 2012.”

The Basin Plan has again been in the headlines in recent weeks thanks to Four Corners report, which has prompted a review both at a state and federal level into allegations of corruption, misconduct and maladministration in water management.

Mr Glyde said the MDBA had dropped the ball itself when it came to its reporting obligations. 

“Maybe if that had been met, there wouldn’t be the same degree of angst in the community about the plan,” he said. 

Mr Glyde was also questioned on environmental water targets and what the benefits would be. 

He moved to reassure irrigators the Sustainable Diversion Limits would likely result in less water being “taken” from them”. 

The conference brought together many growers from across the region and wider area, as well as stakeholders and industry leaders.

 RGA executive director Graeme Kruger described it as being a win for the Leeton shire economy.

The conference also included a gala dinner, farm tour and an annual general meeting.