Trust In The Trust! Basin Reforms And The Renmark Irrigation Trust
Free (open access)
495 - 507
P. Chapman & G. M. Robinson
The changing policy narrative in Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) is threatening to place concerns about conservation and responses to climate change ahead of the stated interests of food producers and rural communities. This paper examines the evolving outcomes for producers, the community and the ongoing policy debate. In Renmark, one of the principal communities within the South Australian Riverland where producers are overwhelmingly reliant on irrigation, this shift in government rhetoric and policy challenges the producers’ views of their long-term role. The changes threaten the existence of the Renmark Irrigation Trust (RIT), which provides water to its member irrigators (known as ratepayers) and maintains the pumps and pipes servicing them. Landscape change is one recent outcome, via an exit package banning irrigation for at least five years. The paper’s focus is upon the operation of the RIT under the changing circumstances and on how new possibilities for trading in water may affect this institution and its members. Keywords: water policy, irrigators, Murray-Darling Basin, management.
water policy, irrigators, Murray-Darling Basin, management.