NFF top-to-bottom Murray-Darling Basin fact-finding mission

NFF top-to-bottom Murray-Darling Basin fact-finding mission

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BONE DRY: The NFF fact -finding mission will guide the organisation's MDBP approach.

BONE DRY: The NFF fact -finding mission will guide the organisation's MDBP approach.

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"In my view, from top to bottom, there is a lot more in common then there is that divides us."

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THE National Farmers' Federation has led a delegation on a week-long top-to-bottom Murray-Darling Basin fact-finding mission.

The group started in Toowoomba, travelling thousands of kilometres to finish at Wellington in South Australia, meeting with stakeholders in dozens of towns along the way.

NFF chief executive Tony Mahar said the group held round table discussions with a "good cross section" of farmers, council representatives and local businesses.

"The common theme was people want to maintain their communities," Mr Mahar said.

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"Each region wanted to make sure they had everything possible to maintain a vibrant and sustainable community.

"In my view, from top to bottom, there is a lot more in common then there is that divides us. That was a really positive take away for me."

The importance of transparency and information, achieving equity in the system and more collaboration between local, state and Commonwealth governments were other common areas of concern.

"In some ways, it refined what we already knew," Mr Mahar said.

"We wanted to make sure we're not missing anything and that we're pushing on the right things.

"This was about making sure we understand clearly what the issues are and that feeds back into our policy process."

Mr Mahar said there was an obvious "level of frustration and angry" from communities around the basin regarding the plan and its implementation.

"We knew it was there, which is one of the reasons we did this," he said.

"We got a close first-hand view of the issues. You can't replace seeing people in their community.

"We sat on a verandah in Dirranbandi having a cup of tea with local farmers, hearing their views - you can't replace that."

One of the NFF's top priorities this year, is the continued call to both basin states and the Commonwealth to immediately implement all the recommendations of the 2018 Productivity Commission inquiry into he Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

The organisation also says while it is supportive of the multiple review processes currently underway, it wants greater transparency around the outcome of the reviews and the information released publicly.

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