Murray River Continues To Dry Up As Water Plan Collapses

Murray River Continues To Dry Up As Water Plan Collapses

Tim Whetstone Liberal Member for Chaffey

Taylor Resignation Highlights Labor Divisions

Victor P Taffa

The Resignation of Mike Taylor as Chair of the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) had highlighted a worrying difference of opinion between Labor’s Federal and State Water Ministers, Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone said today.

Mr. Whetstone said he had no confidence that Minister for Water and the River Murray Paul Caica would seek a balanced outcome for South Australia in Murray-Darling Basin water reform.

“Tony Burke said the Authority got it wrong interpreting the Water Act and tabled legal advice to this effect in Federal Parliament.”

“Paul Caica has told Adelaide media today the Authority got it right.” Mr. Whetstone said.

“Paul Caica and Tony Burke need to get together and sort out their differences.”

“Minister Caica has effectively said he supports the lack of balance in the Guide to the proposed Basin Plan that has outraged river communities throughout the Basin. He is even arguing for bigger amounts of water for the environment amounts that even the Authority ruled out because the detrimental social and economic consequences for river communities.” Mr. Whetstone said.

“How is South Australian River Communities supposed to have any confidence in this Minister?”

Mr. Whetstone said the Authority’s heavy-handed, one-sided approach to developing the Guide had backfired on Mr. Taylor and the Federal Government.

“The Water Act obviously needs to be revisited, and the terms of reference for the proposed Basin Plan need to be expanded to give equal consideration to social and economic impacts and deliver a balanced outcome.”

“This is a key recommendation of the South Australian State Opposition’s formal submission to the Authority in response to the Guide.” Mr. Whetstone said.

Taking Water from Agricultural Users and diverting it into the Murray River to appease a few is a recipe for disaster. Australia must be able to feed itself and by starving Agriculture Users of Water really only starves all Australians.

Long-term Irrigation Channels from Flood-Prone areas of New South Wales to the Murray River and drought affected areas must be built so as to effectively manage our Water Resources.