NSW pillage of Basin continues

Gifting more water from the Murray-Darling Basin to New South Wales irrigators is a slap in the face to South Australia and demonstrates the need for fair and equitable water reform, Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone said today.

Gifting more water from the Murray-Darling Basin to New South Wales irrigators is a slap in the face to South Australia and demonstrates the need for fair and equitable water reform, Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone said today.

Mr Whetstone said Federal control of the Basin’s water resources was urgently needed to prevent vested interests from pillaging water from the Murray-Darling system.

“The green light given to NSW irrigators to take more water from the Basin shows that state governments can’t be relied upon to act in the national interest,” Mr Whetstone said.

“It’s a morally corrupt decision considering that irrigators in other states like SA are being asked to give up water.

“The Federal Labor Government must take control of the Basin’s water resources to prevent this sort of pillaging. The Basin is a national asset and must be managed accordingly. NSW irrigators’ responsibilities should not stop at the NSW border.

“It is unacceptable that irrigators anywhere in the Basin could be given more water in this environment of reform and considering what we all went through during the drought. It would be unbelievable if NSW hadn’t already allocated more groundwater resources last year.”

Mr Whetstone said SA irrigators had every reason to be angry about the decision and about the Weatherill Labor Government’s incompetence.

“SA irrigators have sacrificed development opportunities, working within a cap on water extractions established 40 years ago, while upstream states continued to take more water,” Mr Whetstone said.

“They’ve invested billions to become the most efficient irrigators in the Basin.

“This Labor Government in SA has had more than four years to get their Federal colleagues and the Murray Darling Basin Authority to recognise this responsible water use, but no-one is listening to them.”

mediarelease