House debates

Thursday, 24 June 2021

Questions without Notice

Murray-Darling Basin

3:09 pm

Photo of Terri ButlerTerri Butler (Griffith, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for the Environment and Water) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia. When did the minister first become aware of the National Party's plot to shred the Murray-Darling Basin Plan?

Photo of Keith PittKeith Pitt (Hinkler, National Party, Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the shadow minister for her question. The National Party's always been aware of what's going on when it comes to water—always. They always stand up for their regional constituents. That is no surprise, not to me or anyone behind me or anyone they represent.

We continue to deliver when it comes to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. We have already delivered 2,029 gigalitres of gap-bridging water. That is a phenomenal result. There is $270 million in the Murray-Darling Communities Investment Package that will go towards those regional communities that are heavily impacted by things like buybacks. We have been absolutely committed to ruling out further buybacks. There will be no more buybacks while this government is in place, because that is the right thing to do. We have shifted over $1.3 billion to off-farm efficiency projects and that is expected to recover up to 150 gigalitres of water. That is the right thing to do. We are striking the right balance between communities, irrigators, business and the environment, and we will continue to do that.