Wednesday, 23 November 2022
Statements by Members
Murray-Darling Basin Plan
I'd like to raise to the attention of the House the comments made by the Minister for the Environment and Water about her plan to deliver the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in full. I need to explain to the House that the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is nearly completed. It is nearly up to the standard of water retrieval that was agreed to. But the 450 gigalitres that the minister referred to is not part of the plan. It's not part of the plan that I voted for in this place. It is a political announcement that was made prior to the 2013 election to gain votes in South Australia. It can't be delivered under the triple bottom line of no environmental, no social and no economic impacts on the community.
My concerns with the minister's intention to purchase water willy-nilly across the basin is that we're going to go back to the days when Senator Wong was the minister, when she destroyed the communities of Collarenebri, severely impacted the community of Warren and took 10 per cent of the rateable income from Bourke with the purchase of Toorale station, without any thought for those communities.
The Murray-Darling Basin irrigators are the most effective in the world. We grow more food and fibre for a megalitre of water than anywhere in the world, and there should be respect for that.