House debates

Monday, 18 February 2019

Statements by Members

Murray-Darling Basin

4:19 pm

Photo of Amanda RishworthAmanda Rishworth (Kingston, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Veterans' Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

Saving the Murray-Darling Basin is an issue that is close to most of the hearts of South Australians and indeed the nation. In my electorate, as in many electorates around in this country, residents are constantly raising concerns about the future of the Murray-Darling. It's an issue I've been passionate about ever since I have been elected. Our state, more than any other state, is acutely aware of how important a healthy river is to the environment, to our flora and fauna and also to the agricultural industry. It is a false dichotomy to place agricultural needs against environmental needs: a dead river is good for nobody. We have watched in horror as this government has undermined, mishandled and jeopardised the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. For years I've been calling out the mismanagement by this government. It started with the member for New England, who did not seem to care or actually want to implement the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. The government now faces overwhelming evidence of failure—the devastating fish deaths, the findings of the Productivity Commission and the damning findings of the South Australian Water Commission. The government needs to start acting. It needs to start listening to these warning signs and act to save this vital water source. Enough is enough. We all need all governments, state and federal, to act to restore the river to health. There is no more time to waste.