NSW Farmers host water forum in Forbes

Forbes experienced one of its worst floods during winter last year, which closed the Newell Highway for more than six weeks.
Forbes experienced one of its worst floods during winter last year, which closed the Newell Highway for more than six weeks.

NSW Farmers will host a water forum in Forbes on Wednesday, October 11 to consult directly with growers on water issues.

Focusing specifically on the Lachlan Valley, the forum will provide the latest information on the Murray Darling Basin Plan, the SDL adjustment mechanism, new water projects and the controversial 450 ‘upwater’. 

NSW Farmers president Derek Schoen and Policy Director Environment Adair Moar will front the forum, which will be facilitated in a Q&A style.

Similar forums were run in the Murrumbidgee and Murray Valleys last year.

“Irrigators have serious concerns about the progression of the Murray Darling Basin Plan, and we aim to hear from our members to work out where we are headed and what is in front of us,” NSW Farmers Parkes -Forbes Branch Chair Gavin Tom said.

Last year the formerly separate Parkes and Forbes branches merged – a move Mr Tom said should reinvigorate the footprint of the association in Forbes.

“We still had a very strong membership base in this region but joining forces has meant more members in the one branch,” he said.

“Water has been raised by members as an issue along the Lachlan so we are listening to their calls and bringing this forum to Forbes.”

NSW Farmers Regional Services Manager Central West Catriona McAuliffe said the forum would be for NSW Farmers members only, but non-members were welcome to join on the door to have their say.

“The association is the largest lobby group in the state and we work for members – it’s important to have this face to face consultation with growers to ensure they are aware of the direction NSW Farmers is taking and how we have been involved in water up until this point, and our plans for the coming year,” she said.

“The word we are getting from many irrigators is that they are tired of receiving information or attending consultation sessions but not being heard.

“This is about looking closely at what is relevant in 2017 and what’s to come in 2018.”

The meeting will be held at Forbes Services Club from 9am on Wednesday. For more information contact Catriona on mcauliffec@nswfarmers.org.au or 0488 100 005.