From my current distance, I can only make a preliminary assessment of the “historic” agreement on the National Water Initiative. But, from what I’ve seen, there’s no good news here. The issue of what costs would be borne by irrigators when allocations were reduced was not clarified in the initial announcement. The new announcement makes it clear that virtually all costs will be borne by governments. That would be fine, if the announcement included new money to pay for this. But as far as I can see, the $500 million that has been announced is the same money that was announced a year or so ago.
This means that the environmental allocation will be no more than the 500GL previously announced which is clearly inadequate. So the agreement may be historic, but not, as far as I can see, in a good way.
I’ll post more on this when I return from my travels and have time to examine the outcome in detail.