Hot water

Submission on the Northern Territory Draft Surface Water Take policy
by Rod Campbell and Sumithri Venketasubramanian

NT water policy changes are aimed at expanding irrigation, particularly cotton production.

Government and industry claims that cotton expansion would create significant employment and tax payments are not supported by data.

Census figures show that cotton is one of the least jobsintensive sectors in the economy. According to the Australian Tax Office, major cotton companies make minimal tax payments.

An NT cotton industry is unlikely to bring any significant economic benefit.

Please note, this report was updated on 12 Jan 2022 to correct an error in Figure 1 and related text. This does not affect the overall conclusions of the report.

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