Government At Odds With Department Advice

Government At Odds With Department Advice

South Australia Shadow Minister for River Murray Mitch Williams

Labor Devious Over Dam

Victor P Taffa

The State Liberals have just received evidence that the Rann Labor Government has misled South Australians about its bund on the Lower Lakes.

“During the drought the Labor Government built a bund between Lake Alexandrina and Lake Albert across the Narrows.” Shadow Minister for River Murray Mitch Williams said today.

“It was always supposed to be temporary.”

 

“In September last year Labor promised yet again that its intention was to remove the whole lot. The Department’s CEO Allan Holmes said on September 21 that it was constructed as a short-term measure, and it wasn’t constructed to stay there.” Mr. Williams said.

“Faced with enormous pressure from locals and environmentalists along the Murray to remove the dam, the Labor Government claimed on January 17th that there was no agreement on who would pay for removing the bund.”

“Labor said before the bund could be demolished, South Australia would need to negotiate with the Commonwealth over cold hard cash.”

“The State Liberals have now found a letter from the CEO of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, which puts an end to that falsehood.” Mr. Williams said.

The authority’s CEO, Rob Freeman, has officially confirmed, in writing, that “in relation to funding for the removal of the Narrung bund, in June 2009 the Murray-Darling Basin Authority paid $2.3 Million to DFW towards the cost of spoil treatment and bank removal”.

“The letter makes another thing perfectly clear the MDBA is not obligated to pay another cent, so any further ‘negotiations’ the State Labor Government is pretending to have with the Commonwealth are false.” Mr. Williams said.

“The letter reveals that in return for a $2.3 Million payment the MDBA received a release from South Australia for any further obligations in relation to the Narrung bund.”

“Parts of the Murray are now flooding. This ‘temporary’ bund must be removed so fresh water can get into Lake Albert instead of running out to sea.” Mr. Williams said.

“Irrigators are losing out. This is environmental vandalism Lake Albert’s salinity is drastically higher than what it should be.”

“Get rid of it now. Stop the falsehoods and start the earthmover.” Mr. Williams said.