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Farmers express hopes for NPS on freshwater management

Farmers express hopes for NPS on freshwater management

Federated Farmers will work with the Government given today's announcement of a National Policy Statement (NPS) for water and the Cleanup Fund.

"Federated Farmers fully gets the need for the Government to balance environmental protection with economic development," says Lachlan McKenzie, Federated Farmers co-spokesperson on water.

"We are disappointed that the NPS gets gazetted next Thursday and we are yet to see a copy. In that context, I think it important Government knows what we hope it will be.

"With the announcement on irrigation, it's all about effective partnering with the rural communities to get the win-wins. Federated Farmers looks for that same partnering approach when it comes to water quality programmes.

"We hope the NPS process will take a whole of community approach. Farmers are open to this because we are a full part of the community. After all, farmers fish, swim and use the water resource just like any other member of the community.

"Federated Farmers is especially keen to end a 'them and us' when it comes to farming and the environment.

"The key thing we take is a hope the Government will look to innovation, because that is an approach Federated Farmers is actively taking on the ground. We honestly hope that it won't be more of the same involving confrontation and litigation.

"The real strength of Federated Farmers is about being a grass roots organisation with the networks and practical ethos to mobilise action. A practical example of this ethos in action was the 'Farmy Army'.

"From the Lake Brunner project, to the Aorere and the Vallance Project, our members are involved in real projects designed to unlock real solutions. That includes my farm with the trials I've been involved with.

"Federated Farmers is willing to work alongside the Government to make the NPS into what it ought to be, something that works for farming and the environment. To us, these are really flipsides of the same coin.

"Federated Farmers also welcome an extra $15 million for cleanup initiatives that recognises historic legacies where the cause is unknown," Mr McKenzie concluded.

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