Deal or no deal

By By Lucy Skuthorp and Alison Barber
Updated January 5 2016 - 6:16pm, first published June 6 2007 - 11:00pm

VICTORIAN irrigators water rights could be safe for the next 12 years under concessions designed to woo the State into signing the Federal Government’s $10 billion Murray-Darling Basin water plan.Federal Minister for Water Malcolm Turnbull expects a final position on the plan will be reached within the next two weeks and is hopeful the concessions made to Victoria will be enough to get the landmark deal through.However the State’s irrigators say while the concessions are a step forward, further compromises will be needed before they’ll throw their support behind the plan.Earlier this week Victorian Premier Steve Bracks forced major changes to the Government’s $10 billion plan.Mr Bracks has long rejected the Prime Minister’s stipulation that the Commonwealth needed to have total control of the basin in order for the plan to go ahead and the money to flow.At a meeting in Sydney on Monday, the PM agreed to scrap plans for transferring complete constitutional powers over the river from the States to the Federal Government, and will instead amend its legislation so it only picks up responsibility for certain areas of management.Mr Bracks told a news conference the PM agreed to their wishes and will only assume power and enforcement of caps for the basin, metering and the water market.Mr Bracks said Victoria has always argued responsibility for land management and water pricing, for example, should remain with the States.See the full story in this week's Stock & Land.

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