Following negative media stories on the irrigation industry, Cotton Australia has been working hard behind the scenes to ensure the voice of growers and others in the industry is heard by key opinion leaders.
The airing of allegations against three farmers on the 4 Corners and Lateline programs has led to a number of inquiries and investigations. Some inquiries have already handed down initial findings – they include the Ken Matthews interim report, the Murray Darling Basin Authority’s compliance review and the NSW Ombudsman’s report.
As an industry, we have always expected water use to be measured and the take of that water to be regulated by the appropriate authorities. The Australian irrigation and cotton industries have always recognised the importance of compliance. Furthermore, as an industry, we have zero tolerance for water theft. Cotton Australia will work with the appropriate bodies to ensure effective and cost-effective measurement of water use.
These issues were discussed at the Cotton Australia General Meeting in Sydney last week, with Cotton Australia General Manager Michael Murray providing a detailed update on the organisation’s efforts to date to grower representatives from all cotton-growing valleys. Cotton Australia also took feedback from growers on next steps.
Growers wanting more information on this topic should call their local grower representative (the CGA attendee), their Cotton Australia Regional Manager, or contact Cotton Australia on (02) 9669 5222 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Cotton Australia’s affiliates, the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) and the National Irrigators’ Council (NIC), have also been active in this area – see below for detail.