The Murray-Darling Basin Plan In Danger

Written by: The Griffith Phoenix


Helen Dalton continues to give our community a voice on the matters that impact our communities most - like the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

The Albanese Labor Government had better put on their working shoes because the Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young is already pushing for a rewrite of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and the appointment of a South Australian Minister to oversee the Plan and deny ‘upstream states water’, and that is not a good thing for our community, according to Independent MP for Murray Helen Dalton.

“The federal Greens’ plans for the Murray Darling Basin would be disastrous for our area,” Ms Dalton said.

“It’s not just our farmers who will suffer.

“When we lose water, the flow on impacts are enormous.

“Families leave Griffith, and the state government uses that as an excuse to further cut back our health services.

“I’m not sure what Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young means when she says “we need a South Australian Water Minister to ensure South Australia get their fair share.”

“During the drought, South Australian farmers were on 100 per cent allocation, while our farmers were on zero or near zero allocation.

“The extra 450 gigalitres can’t be delivered to South Australia, both due to the constraints in the river system and because of the negative impacts it will have on the community.

“We should be focused on environmental outcomes, not just a number.

“I will fight these plans, we ened more regionally-focused independents in state parliament to ensure there’s enough state resistance.”

The Nationals agree that the Greens water push spelled disaster for the regions and would destroy river communities.

Nationals Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack said he was worried about any attempt by Labor and the Greens to remove almost the equivalent of a Sydney Harbour worth of water from productive use.

How would they even achieve that?,” Mr McCormack said.

“It’s almost physically impossible to do it without creating an environmental disaster in itself with over-bank flooding.

“This would create man-made floods for no environmental outcome.

“River communities deserve better and what they are talking about is unachievable without creating social and economic catastrophes for some of our best country towns.”

New South Wales Senator, Perin Davey, who lives in the Murray Irrigation districts along the ecologically sensitive Murray, Edward, Wakool Rivers systems said both Labor and the Greens had forgotten that the Plan should be about the whole Basin.

“The Basin Plan should be about water management - not water recovery,” Senator Davey said.

“Somewhere along the line it seems we forgot the original intent was to make the whole Basin more resilient using flexible and adaptable management.

“There are a raft of natural physical constraints to delivery of water which are yet to be resolved yet both Labor and the Greens want to flush more water to the Lower Lakes without a care about the upstream environment.”

The Nationals Senate Leader and Senator for Victoria, Bridget McKenzie said Greens dictating policy and ministers in an Albanese-Bandt coalition spelled disaster for the regions.

“Senator Hanson-Young is putting yachting marinas in South Australia ahead of upstream communities, wetlands and forests and it is reprehensible,” Senator McKenzie said.

“The 450 gigalitres was never guaranteed, as Labor and the Greens would have people believe.

“It was always conditional on no negative socio-economic impacts to Basin communities.

“For too long northern Victorian and NSW irrigation communities have been at risk of paying a social and economic price for Labor and the Greens’ pushes to recover more water.

“Labor and the Greens’ policies aren’t based on science and they have no agility to deliver the Plan in a flexible way that supports Basin communities and industries.

“The Nationals know what these communities and industries need which is to focus on outcomes across the Basin, because we can do more with less for the environment while protecting our regional economies.

“That is why we moved amendments to remove the 450-gigalitre up water and to remove water buybacks, to allow new 605-gigalitre offset projects, and no water be taken from communities until the Plan is reviewed in 2024.”

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