Gillard and Burke break promise on buyback

Premier Weatherill’s failure to condemn the Federal Government’s decision to break the moratorium on water buybacks in the southern Murray-Darling Basin is a major blow to South Australian river communities and irrigators.

Premier Weatherill’s failure to condemn the Federal Government’s decision to break the moratorium on water buybacks in the southern Murray-Darling Basin is a major blow to South Australian river communities and irrigators.

Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone said the Federal Government should direct funding to improving infrastructure instead of targeting desperate sellers under pressure from the banks.

“The Premier’s silence on this broken promise is deafening,” Mr Whetstone said.

“Mr Burke promised that water purchases would be suspended until 2013. This is a blatant broken promise. Federal Labor continues to sell South Australia down the river, but State Labor does nothing but make empty threats about a High Court challenge and quibble over a magic number of gigalitres.

“Premier Weatherill must join with the New South Wales and Victorian governments to speak up for river communities and condemn this breach of trust.

“The best way to obtain water for Murray-Darling environmental flows is by investing in infrastructure efficiencies. This creates jobs, secures water and underpins long-term economic sustainability of regional communities.

“This is the solution that must be pursued in order to achieve a balanced outcome in the Murray-Darling Basin that sustains food production, regional communities and the health of the river system. Premier Weatherill’s magic number is not a solution.”

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