A sustainable irrigation industry that supports a healthy environment and prosperous communities
Like most inland regions of NSW, the regional economy and local communities of the Macquarie Valley in central west NSW are heavily reliant on agriculture.
Access to water for irrigation, from both groundwater and surface water resources, is a key contributor to diversity and prosperity of agriculture in the Macquarie Valley.
The Macquarie Valley irrigation industry generates over 50% of the regions gross value of agricultural production from less than 5% of the land area and less than 20% of available water resources.
MRFF represents the interests of over 500 irrigated farming families and is supported by a number of associated businesses and service providers.
MRFF exists in support of our members’ vision for an efficient, productive and profitable irrigation industry in the Macquarie Valley.
An efficient, productive and profitable irrigation industry in the Macquarie Valley will:
Improve regional diversity and drought preparedness,
Increase the contribution of agriculture to our regional economy and local communities,
Drive private sector investment in research and development,
Enhance investment in our natural resource base, and
Attract the next generation of farmers and agricultural service providers.
MRFF advocates the following policies and project initiatives to realise the potential of the Macquarie Valley irrigation industry:
Expanding the Macquarie Valley irrigation industry
The current level of extraction within the Macquarie-Cudgegong Regulated Rivers water source is well within sustainable levels determined by the Murray Darling Basin Authority.
Opportunity exists to expand irrigated agricultural production in the Macquarie Valley through increased access to the region’s water resources. Read more
Leasing or trading government water holdings
Trade of government owned water provides the opportunity to generate revenue for Federal and State Governments while at the same time boosting regional productivity.
Opportunity exists for water holdings to be leased or traded to the irrigation industry on a temporary or permanent basis, thus increasing the productive capacity of the region’s agricultural industry within sustainable levels. Read more
Increasing supply capacity at Burrendong Dam
The total storage capacity of Burrendong Dam is 1,678,000 Megalitres however only 1,188,000 Megalitres currently available for bulk water storage.
Opportunity exists to review the current operating rules to maximise the potential of the existing storage infrastructure and improve the reliability of access for downstream water users, while still providing the important flood mitigation role. Read more
Installing weather radar services in central and western NSW
An efficient agricultural industry requires access to timely, relevant and accurate information to fully inform production decisions.
Opportunity exists to use funds generated from the temporary or permanent sale of government owned water to fund the installation of a weather radar service in the central west to fill the 'black spot' in coverage in this area of NSW. Read more
Upgrading storage, river and stream gauging networks
Access to timely, relevant and accurate information for water storage and river heights is a key requirement for efficient management of the region’s water resources.
Opportunity exists to streamline the provision of timely and accurate information to river dependent communities and industries in the future, which could be achieved by contracting arrangements between the relevant government agencies. Read more
Constructing en-route storage in the Macquarie River system
The Macquarie River system is the longest of the inland regulated river systems that is operated without the capacity to re-regulate volumes downstream of its major dam structure.
Opportunity exists to construct an en-route storage in the Macquarie River system to assist in reducing system delivery losses, and for water savings to offset the costs of constructing the storage structure. Read more
Addressing rising input costs driven by inefficiency in government service provision
Above inflationary increases in water and energy costs continue to have a significant impact on irrigated agricultural producers in the Macquarie Valley.
Opportunity exists for the governments to ease pressure on rising input costs, and therefore farm business profitability, through more efficient management of public infrastructure and services that are relied upon by agricultural producers. Read more
Streamlining institutional arrangements and regulatory frameworks
The Federal Water Act 2007 led to the establishment of a new layer of federal players in water management, which had previously been dominated by the states.
Opportunity exists to streamline areas of duplication and to reduce the burden of red and green tape on food and fibre producers in our region. Read more