Labor betrays Murray Darling Basin

MEDIA RELEASE – 8 May 2018

NSW Greens water spokesman Jeremy Buckingham today slammed the Labor Party for betraying the Murray Darling Basin by agreeing to support the government’s move to reduce environmental water by 605 gigalitres in  the Southern Basin and 70 gigalitres in the Northern Basin.

“Labor have capitulated to the National Party and big irrigators and have betrayed Australia and the health of the Murray Darling Basin,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“Labor have gotten virtually nothing for selling out our rivers. Decent compliance and enforcement regimes should be a basic function of government, it should not be dependent on political deals that give more water to special interests.

“One wonders if the influence of former Labor MP Steve Whan, who is now chief executive of the National Irrigators Council, had anything to do with Labor’s backflip? The Australian people are sick to the gills of ex-politicians turning to lobbying and influencing their former colleagues.

“Just when the community thought Labor had a backbone after they supported the disallowance of 70 gigalitre reduction in the diversion limit for the Northern Basin, they’ve crumbled and sold out the entire Murray-Darling basin.

“The Murray Darling Basin needs real water returned to its rivers, lakes and wetlands. Multiple ‘water saving’ projects, without transparent business cases or definitive guaranteed water savings, are no replacement for actual water flowing down our rivers.

“This all looks like a big con, a smoke and mirrors trick to preserve the privilege of a few special interests. One day we will have a Royal Commission that will expose the rot in water management in Australia,” he said.

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