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Murray Darling Basin Plan must be equitable for tree plantations

Australia’s national forest industry body notes the release today of the Guide to the proposed Basin
Plan by the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) as a basis for seeking industry and community
input on the longer term development of the water plan.
The forest industry has consistently advocated that any long term water regime must be based on
sound public policy and scientific principles, balancing water uses in an equitable manner.
In terms of the Guide document, we believe any policies relating to sustainable diversion limits
(SDLs) must take into account:
· sound science, including evidence based approaches to water use and demand;
· equity amongst consumptive uses;
· the scale and relative impact of various uses; and
· broader economic, social and environmental benefits from land uses such as plantation
NAFI Chief Executive, Allan Hansard said the forest industry is concerned that tree plantations have
been unfairly targeted by regulators in the past without adequate information to make informed policy
decisions, particularly relative to the treatment of other agricultural uses.
“Trees are like any other deep rooted dry-land crop and should be treated as such,” he said.
We will be providing a more detailed response once we have had time to review the 260 page report.