Jay and Julia grabbing votes at river communities’ expense

River communities don’t trust Labor to deliver a fair and balanced Basin Plan and are tired of Labor’s vote-grabbing river stunts, Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone said today.

River communities don’t trust Labor to deliver a fair and balanced Basin Plan and are tired of Labor’s vote-grabbing river stunts, Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone said today.

“As always, the latest announcement about more water for the river is short on detail and inconsistent with previous announcements,” Mr Whetstone said. “Labor can’t make up their minds about the river except for trying to grab votes out of the issue.

“River communities have had enough. The Premier visited the Riverland within a week of taking office and told the community that 4,000 gigalitres was the minimum required to save the river.

“Later he said 3,500-4,000 GL was necessary according to the best available science and threatened a High Court challenge if he didn’t get it. Now he’s settling for 3,200GL. The Premier has zero credibility on Murray-Darling Basin water reform.

“The Prime Minister simply can’t get it right either. Her government has broken promise after promise about the river. It promised $400 million to fix the Menindee Lakes, but nothing’s been done. It promised the Basin Plan would be in place by 2014, but pushed it out until 2019.

“The Prime Minister promised to buy back all of the water needed for the Basin Plan, now she’s going to do it with infrastructure upgrades and by removing constraints. It would be a welcome backflip by Labor if only it was trustworthy.

“In the meantime, South Australian river communities are still in the dark. Labor won’t tell us what SA’s sustainable diversion limit will be under the Basin Plan, and what impact this latest announcement will have on that SDL and the regional economies which rely on irrigated food production.

“Once again, Labor is exploiting the river to grab headlines and votes and creating even more uncertainty in river communities.”

mediarelease