The Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia (RGA) is absolutely disgusted that Murray Darling Basin Communities are seen by the Australian Labor Party as nothing more than cannon fodder in its quest to become the next Federal Government.
“The media release from Minister Tony Burke is political pandering to ill-informed voters in South Australia in the upcoming Federal election and displays zero empathy for drought stricken Communities in the other Basin States.” RGA President Jeremy Morton said.
(Hear Minister Burke’s comments on the MDBP and Jeremy Morton’s response, on the ABC Radio Country hour recording on Friday 29th March and listen to the 8 minute segment between 19:45 – 27:10).
The comment from South Australian Labor leader Peter Malinauskas about delivering another 450 billion litres of water for South Australia is beyond comprehension. Especially when it is known that parts of the river system are not able to handle this volume without having negative impacts on the environment.
“I’m flabbergasted that Mr. Malinauskas believes South Australia has somehow drawn the short straw in the Murray Darling Basin Plan. Countless billions of litres of extra water flow into South Australia due to the Basin Plan already. I invite the Mr. Malinauskas and Tony Burke to travel upstream to see firsthand the environmental and social destruction being caused by the Basin Plan”
The current agreement between the Federal Government and the Basin States on future implementation of the plan reflects the learnings from implementation to date. It seems absurd that a future Labor Government would act against the wishes of the Basin States.
“The RGA believes there could be a much better plan which takes a holistic approach to water management. We respect that there is currently a united view on implementation of the plan and would sound a word of caution to anyone who seeks to chart a different course. The announcement from Labor today highlights that we have much to lose with many of those who sit in the Federal Parliament having no regard for those of us who live in the Murray Darling Basin. All they are interested in is virtue signalling for political self-interest, it’s downright disgraceful.” Mr Morton concluded
Belinda Lambert, RGA Communications Manager - 0488 071 165
Jeremy Morton, RGA President – 0429 873 230