| February 14, 2018

Labor prepared to leave irrigators high and dry

This afternoon the Federal Labor party has the opportunity to keep the Murray Darling Basin Plan afloat by accepting the Northern Basin Review, which was completed more than 12 months ago.

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Damian Drum MP has hit out at Tony Burke and the power brokers of Labor for putting South Australians wants ahead of hardworking Australians.

“This is an absolute farce, Tony Burke; the man who put the Murray Darling Basin Plan in place is now rejecting the Northern Basin Review at the eleventh hour. The review states that due to detrimental socioeconomic impact 70 Gigalitres of water should be returned to irrigators,” Mr Drum said.

“It is no wonder that his own Labor Party in Victoria has slammed Mr Burke who is happy playing politics with people’s livelihoods. Tony Burke is more than happy to destroy the irrigation districts that rely on water from the Murray Darling Basin.

Other prominent members of the community have also spoken out against the Labor party and the Greens who want to flush more irrigator’s water through the mouth of the Murray.

Richard Anderson from the Victorian Farmers Federation Water Council said, “The Greens are saying no to money for the environment, no to environmental projects, and they are saying no to Australia’s food bowl. All because the perception of some South Australians is that the only way to evaluate the health of the river is to measure the amount of fresh water flowing out of the Murray Mouth.”  

Peter Hall, a local industry leading orchardist said, “Ian Hunter and Tony Burke, who oppose the plan’s rules on the 450 GL of up-water, want to see regional Victoria torched for a few South Australian seats.”

“If the Labor Party maintains this position they will jeopardise the delivery of the whole Murray Darling Basin Plan. Regional Australia needs this water, this demonstrates how out of touch Labor and the Greens are with the needs of rural and regional communities,” Mr Drum said.  

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