Victoria has welcomed SDL targets

Victoria welcomes Murray-Darling targets

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The State government has welcomed the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s (MDBA’s) draft offset target of 605 Gigalitres (GL) of water, to help deliver the Murray-Darling Basin plan without further buybacks.

The State government has welcomed the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s (MDBA’s) draft offset target of 605 Gigalitres (GL) of water, to help deliver the Murray-Darling Basin plan without further buybacks.

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The MDBA has released its draft Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL) targets, designed to deliver better environmental outcomes with less water.

Victorian Water Minister Lisa Neville has welcomed the draft SDL targets.

Victorian Water Minister Lisa Neville has welcomed the draft SDL targets.

Water Minister Lisa Neville said Victoria had been a strong advocate for regional communities and a key proponent of 22 of the offset projects.

“This is a good step forward in delivering a plan that works for everyone – for the whole Basin community, for all water users including farmers, regional communities and the environment,” Ms Neville said.

“Victoria does not support further buybacks and has pushed for the offsets to be as high as possible, so our communities are protected from further water buybacks.”

Three basin states, Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia, put forward a package of 36 projects to the MDBA, to be considered for delivering offsets.

The projects included engineering works, such as regulators, pipes and pumps to deliver water to wetlands and floodplains and use it more efficiently.

Ms Neville said the MDBA had advised the proposed 605 GL of offsets, together with remaining contracted water recovery, would be enough to fully offset the remaining water recovery gap in the southern Basin.

“The projects support the health of local rivers and wetlands, protect and restore red gum forests, provide better breeding conditions for water birds and improve habitat for fish, turtles and other animals.

“In a win for regional Victoria, the nine environmental works projects alone will bring approximately $320 million of investment to northern Victorian communities, including opportunities for local investment and jobs,” Ms Neville said.

Public comment on the draft determination report has been invited, through the MDBA’s website, until November 3.

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