Farmers have been against aspects of the Murray-Darling Basin plan for several years now and there is still no sign of an agreement being reached between farmers and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) as the latest battle is fought over environmental flows.
Whilst farmers understand and accept that environmental flows are for the good of nature as it would give life to billabongs, forests and wetlands as well as saving numerous species of native fish and birdlife from destruction, it would also cause problems for many farmers especially those in floodplains and low lying areas.
The flows require would cause masses of water to be pushed down the rivers and that in turn would create high levels of water which would spill over onto properties potentially causing all sorts of damage to crops and wash away vital topsoil as well as cutting off access to sections of property until water levels recede enough to property owners and farmhands access to the areas.
Another sticking point is how many times a year would the flows happen and how long would it cause disruption, so far answers to that question have not been answered despite repeated attempts to get an answer in negotiations with the MDBA and now the Government.
The NSW State Government have taken over negotiations with the farmers from the MDBA and are currently conducting an audit of crossings and other infrastructure on floodplains that may become affected by the proposed environmental flows.
There are reports that farmers assessment of the impact of the waters have come to the conclusion that they may have to replace farm crossing with bridges which would cost property owners tens of thousands of dollars in a time where that money would be better spent keeping buying animals and keeping them fed and watered.
There is also resistance to the audit from farmers in the Wakool district as they show their displeasure by refusing to let State Government officials onto their land to conduct the audits.
The MDBA claim it will take a decade to solve problems but this situation in many eyes has been dragging on for too long and the people demand fast answers and even faster action to not only protect the rivers but vital food growing and animal raising properties as well.