Labor has thrown rural communities and farm families into uncertainty by voting with the Greens to disallow the Northern Basin Review, which was a vital piece of Tony Burke and Labor’s Murray Darling Basin Plan, because of the SA election.
Labor and Greens voted to disallow the Review despite knowing NSW and Victoria had said they’d pull out of the Plan if the Northern Basin Review was disallowed, killing the Plan.
The Murray Darling Basin Plan was arrived at after years of negotiation and compromise on all sides and was designed to give certainty to the thousands of businesses which rely on water allocation.
Minister for Water Resources David Littleproud said Labor’s decision to crush its own Plan had resulted in NSW pulling out, killing the Plan and re-igniting water wars between the states.
“Labor has killed the Plan it worked on for years and had created huge uncertainty for thousands of businesses in regional towns which rely on water allocation,” Mr Littleproud said.
“After putting farmers and rural communities through painful uncertainty for several years, Labor does it again. I live with these people. I’ve seen the pain in their eyes caused by uncertainty.
“Farmers need to know how much water they’ll have so they can invest and grow the food Australians eat.
“It’s disgraceful for Labor to kill its own Plan just because it helps them in the South Australian election and the Batman by-election.
“The Commonwealth is obligated to try to deliver the original agreement for 2750GL – but without the cooperation of the states and the only tool left available is buybacks.”
The Federal Coalition Government will seek to work with the states to find a way forward to restore the Plan and certainty for farmers and regional communities.