Senate debates

Monday, 2 December 2019

Questions without Notice

Murray-Darling Basin

2:33 pm

Photo of Bridget McKenzieBridget McKenzie (Victoria, National Party, Minister for Agriculture) Share this | Hansard source

This is one of the tragedies of this situation. Going to Senator Pratt's point: without water from the skies, it is very hard to create new water in the system. We are building water infrastructure. We are the side of politics that actually put a halt to buybacks, that sought to get any more efficiencies out of this system through investing in on-farm infrastructure. If the other team had been elected, they'd be getting their cheque book right now and walking on farms taking water. We refused to do that. It was we who capped it. It was we who put in the socioeconomic criteria so that you cannot remove one more gigalitre from these communities. We know, because we live in these communities, the reprehensible damage that removing one more gigalitre from the Murray-Darling Basin communities will actually do to not just farmers' productive capacity but also their own local communities' sustainability.

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