Farmers say Murray water plan will cost jobs

Farmers say Murray water plan will cost jobs

Agribusiness
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HALVING irrigators' water use would cost $2.7 billion a year and lead to the loss of 28,000 jobs, according to a report that will be used by farmers to campaign against moves to recover more water for the environment.

Aa

HALVING irrigators' water use would cost $2.7 billion a year and lead to the loss of 28,000 jobs, according to a report that will be used by farmers to campaign against moves to recover more water for the environment.

The report has calculated the impact of a 10 per cent, 25 per cent and 50 per cent reduction in irrigation water in the Murray-Darling Basin, The Australian Financial Review reports.

The report was funded by the Cotton Cooperative Research Centre into reforms planned to shift to an environmentally sustainable future.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority has drawn up a draft plan for the future of the river system, including new limits on water use, but has angered irrigators by delaying its ­release until after the election on ­August 21.

The report on Social and Economic Impacts of Reduced Irrigation Water, by researchers Judith Stubbs and Associates, says a 25 per cent cut in irrigation water would cost the economy $1.4 billion a year and lead to 14,000 job losses. A 10 per cent cut would cost $600 million a year and 6000 jobs.

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