NSW must stay in the Murray Darling Basin Plan

MEDIA RELEASE – 15 February 2018

NSW Greens water spokesman Jeremy Buckingham today condemned NSW water minister Niall Blair’s comments that NSW should pull out of the Murray Darling Basin Plan as irresponsible and continuing the pattern of siding with big cotton irrigators against the long-term health of the river and the communities and ecology that depend on it.

NSW Greens water spokesman Jeremy Buckingham said:

“The National Party have been working with big irrigators for a long time to either gut the Plan or pull out. The real loser is the river, the ecology, the farmers, communities, and the ability to have good governance between the states.

“I’ve been inundated by Australians who care about the health of the Murray and Darling Rivers, who want the billions of public money buying back real water to flow down our rivers rather than being wasted on smoke and mirrors infrastructure tricks, or paying for water that gets sucked up irrigators pipes anyway because NSW water metering and compliance is farcical.

“The Nationals’ record on water is highly abysmal and under investigation for corruption. They are in no position to lecture anyone about water management and should be stripped of all responsibility for water.

“Prime Minister Turnbull should show some national leadership by giving the Murray Darling Basin Authority some teeth, enforce genuine metering, compliance and buybacks, and stare down parochial state ministers and the handful of irrigation companies that have been trying to gut the MDBP and public confidence in water management.

“The Greens will always act to ensure a successful Murray Darling Basin Plan, but that means a plan that actually delivers water back to the rivers, not some dodgy agreement designed to benefit irrigators.”

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