In his visit to Griffith this week, Phillip Glyde has expressed concern over NSW's bid to withdraw from the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
As Murray Darling Basin Authority's (MDBA) Chief Executive, his comments come in an atmosphere where he says increasing pressure and "misinformation" were contributing to government members fighting to 'can' or pause the plan.
Murray MP Helen Dalton says NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro "has now made more threats to withdraw from the Murray Darling Basin Plan than John Farnham has done farewell tours."
"The NSW Nationals have leaked a Cabinet submission to the media in a desperate attempt to make it look like they're fighting for rural communities," Mrs Dalton said
"The Cabinet submission supposedly recommends the NSW Government withdraw from the Basin Plan, and the NSW Government resist the federal National Party's push to take a further 450 gigalitres of productive water from Southern Basin communities," she explained.
Yet Mr Glyde says while he appreciates the attempt to appear open to irrigators' concerns, the focus should be on fast-tracking infrastructure projects, like Yanco Creek.
"The NSW government is trying to help farmers, but getting rid of the plan won't change that," he explained.
"Right at the moment there is a whole lot of money, a few billion dollars with of investment in these projects which would see jobs in towns, which are currently suffering from the effects of the drought.
"It would be fantastic for the government to get on with building those."
Mr Glyde says leaving the plan will not automatically give irrigators more water, but less security and more economic loss.
If they [NSW] were to walk away right at the moment, it is not going to provide one more litre of water to farmers this season, because the plan is about the long run.Phillip Glyde
"We are at this juncture where we are seven years into a 12 year project, and I would say most of the hard yards of water recovery are already done," he said.
"If these projects that we are talking about get built, then water recovery that has an economic disadvantage is over.
"People want a quick decision, but this plan has been deliberately slow, and with most people planning and thinking season by season, it's hard to see the changes.
"If they [NSW] were to walk away right at the moment, it is not going to provide one more litre of water to farmers this season, because the plan is about the long run.
"This year's water allocation is to do with what the Murray-Darling agreement specifies. So the only water added to the system this year is the water that Adelaide desalination plant provides."
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