THE Murray Darling Basin draft plan sacrifices rural Australia to satisfy city greenies, according to a collective of councils.
The Riverina and Murray Regional Organisation of Councils' submission to the draft plan outlines fears the region will fall into decline should the plan go ahead with the removal of irrigation water.
The council members include Albury, Balranald, Berrigan, Carrathool, Conargo, Corowa, Deniliquin, Greater Hume, Griffith, Hay Jerilderie, Leeton, Murray, Murrumbidgee, Narrandera, Urana, Wakool and Wentworth.
The submission, to be hand-delivered to the authority today, outlines concerns that the plan will result in reduced food and fibre production, loss of Australian export income and further economic and social downturn in region communities.
The Federal Government is accused of having a lack of vision.
"Water is the lifeblood and by far the key economic driver for many parts of the southern basin region, and it is very difficult if not impossible to identify and attract alternative industries that can replace the severe loss of the economic and social fabric of those disadvantaged communities," the submission states.
"It is inconceivable that this Federal Government is simply prepared to sacrifice rural Australia as merely collateral damage, ostensibly to satisfy a political agenda of city-based extreme environmentalists, who have no concept of overall national interests."
RAMROC chairman Cr Terry Hogan told Weekly Times Now if the plan went ahead it would reduce the capacity of food and fibre producers being able to feed a growing global population.
"What our city cousins and politicans don't understand is it takes a huge amount of water to produce food, 135 litres for an egg, 40 litres for a slice of bread and 200 litres for a glass of milk," Cr Hogan said.
"I always an optimist, I'm a half glass full type of person," Cr Hogan said when asked he if thought the authority was listening.
He said RAMROC and the Darling Basin Association were working together to produce a DVD to inform young people about the cycle of water.
Cr Hogan warned the flow on effects should the plan go ahead would result in less food being produced and increased prices.
"This will legislate a drought for the Murray Darling foodbowl and what for? So the minister can stand at the Murray Mouth and say the mouth has been open for nine out of ten years. What sort of legacy will that be?"
The submission calls for the draft's final adoption to be postponed for a review of the scientific research.
It also wants the authority to work with state governments, all environmental water buyback programs to be stopped, a plan of irrigation-based works to be identified and work to begin on projects to save water and a re-assessment of the current health of the river systems and the basin's catchments.
The Murray Darling Basin Authority has received more than 5000 submissions. The public comment period closes today.