Thursday, 10 December 2020
Murray-Darling Basin Plan
I, and also on behalf of Senators Wong, Farrell, McAllister, Gallacher and Marielle Smith, move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) on 7 December 2020 Senator McKenzie called on the Senate to note that 'delivering the Murray-Darling Basin Plan would threaten the productivity and resilience of industries', and
(ii) on 23 October 2020, Senator Birmingham told the estimates session on cross portfolio Murray-Darling Basin Plan matters that 'Our government is doing everything it can to meet the legal obligations and expectations of the Water Act…';
(b) also notes that:
(i) on 7 December 2020 Senator McKenzie also called on the Senate to acknowledge that 'the 450 gigalitres of 'up water' will result in significant socio-economic damage', and
(ii) on 23 October 2020, Senator Birmingham said in relation to the 450 gigalitres that 'It is important for river health' and '…we will do everything we can to try to achieve those outcomes';
(c) further notes that the government's announced policies are not sufficient to guarantee delivery of the 450 gigalitres or the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in full; and
(d) calls on all coalition partners of the Government to guarantee that they are committed to delivering the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in full.
The Morrison-McCormack government is committed to the Basin Plan. The government have done the heavy lifting and we've recovered 98 per cent of the water required to meet the SDLs. The reports identified that it is basin communities that have borne the brunt of this achievement. They clearly show that a flexible approach is needed to continue progress. That is why we have committed to no more buybacks from farmers. We are unashamedly committed to basin communities and the irrigated agriculture that supports them. Our policies, including the $270 million Murray-Darling Communities Investment Package, are focused on delivery.
Question agreed to.