Council calls for 'real stories' for Basin Plan submission

"We want to ensure our residents have a real opportunity to voice their concerns with the guide, and help encourage the next steps that the authority needs to now take," said Wakool Shire Mayor, Cr Andrew Douglas.

"Politicians on slim electoral margins along with extreme minority groups are not the only voice in the argument and we want to present the real stories of our communities that the authority and the Federal Government must hear before any further decisions can be made," he said.

The proposed plan was released on November 28 2011 with a 20-week consultation period set for submissions to the MDBA.

Wakool Shire representatives participated in the Murray Darling Basin Authority consultation meeting held in Deniliquin in December 2011 and in a number of other meetings and interest group discussions, including with David Harriss - NSW Water Commissioner.

Council will be discussing the plan in more detail in coming months and will prepare a submission.

"No one understands the importance of a sustainable river system and environment more than the people living in it- the emphasis on our own stories and our communities must be heard, and we will be highlighting the real people, the real businesses and the real communities that the proposed plan will undoubtedly affect in our submission," Cr Douglas said.

Council is encouraging people to contact the General Manager in writing over the next two months with either general comments or more specific concerns and evidence, such as impacts on small businesses, community groups and the irrigation district.

Ideas around better management of the river & irrigation systems are also welcome along with comments or suggestions on opportunities to assist our region through any adjustment period as a result of the Plan.

All other parties wanting to put forward their own submissions are encouraged to do so before the end of April 2012.

For more information about the proposed plan and the submission process contact the Murray Darling Basin Authority via www.mdba.gov.au.