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First Nations concerned on Murray Darling Basin Deal

CEO WILL Mooney of the The Murray Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations joins NITV Radio to talk about the concerns that MLDRIN have raised on the allocation of environmental water since the announcement of The Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism in the Federal Budget.  The Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism is a policy built into the Murray Darling Basin Plan that oversees decisions made on water allocation."By mimicking natural water events and replicating a flood using infrastructure, you have to get less water back from consumptive users and Irrigator's then you can change the target on how much water can be recovered."The political compromise is the amount of water removed from the river every year.The conversation is between who own entitlements of water for irrigation and industry, environment and First Nations water rights.0.1 % of Indigenous water rights are owned in the Murray Darling Basin according to Will Mooney MLDRIN.He says according to the SDL the policy has it that if we can achieve equivalent environmental outcomes with less water then we don’t have to recover that from farmers. "If you can build a piece of infrastructure on a floodplain or a Red Gum forest or wetland, then the argument is that you are achieving the equivalent environmental outcomes as you would if you had a natural flood that would require a lot of water flowing down the river."It will have impact on all Aboriginal nations.""By mimicking natural water events and replicating a flood using infrastructure, you have to get less water back from consumptive users and Irrigator's then you can change the target on how much water can be recovered."Redgum forest, wetlands, billabong's and floodplains all have a high cultural value and heritage.MLDRIN are concerned that the cut will impact the cultural flow of the Murray Darling Basin.Will says environmental water is bought back by Irrigator's and consumptive users to be managed to sustain the health of the rivers.He says the decision to cut the target for the recovery of environmental water by 605 billion Litres is equivalent to the Sydney Harbour plus 100 billion Litres."It will have impact on a Aboriginal nations."MLDRIN are a partner of The National Cultural Flows Research Committee who have been running a research project for five years to find ways of the federal and state government's can support Aboriginal water rights.Will Mooney say the outcome of the research will see that Aboriginal ownership of water is embedded in policy and First Nations communities will be able to document cultural values and water requirements on country.$1.5 million has been allocated to implemented the findings of the research which will also see water licenses for cultural use.
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