Shepparton locals have expressed their frustration about plans to reintroduce water buybacks to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. Dozens of residents took part in a truck and tractor convoy through the city, protesting against the federal government's plans to use buybacks to reach targets under the plan. The deal will allow for more water buybacks to take place, in order to return more water to the environment.
The convoy parked at the Shepparton Preserving Company factory, where local industry representatives addressed the crowd, speaking out against the proposed buybacks. Earlier, the Labor government announced it had made a deal with the Greens to get their support for the Restoring Our Rivers Bill, which would extend the deadline for the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, which was set to expire next year.
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Shane Sali was worried about the "significant impacts" to the community within the bill. Mitchell McNabb, Fruit Growers Victoria chairperson and a Goulburn Valley fruit farmer, said his motive to be at the protest was "more important than ever".