The Rudd Labor Government has been given another chance to do the right thing by the Murray-Darling Basin, through a Private Member’s Bill introduced by Senator Simon Birmingham this afternoon.

The introduction of the Water Amendment (Saving the Goulburn and Murray Rivers) Bill 2008 follows Labor’s repeated refusal to support Coalition efforts to stop the ‘North-South’ or Sugarloaf Pipeline which would send 75 billion litres of water a year to Melbourne.
These efforts included amendments passed by the Senate to the Water Amendment Bill 2008 which were defeated by Kevin Rudd and the Labor Party in the House of Representatives this week.
“It is profoundly regrettable that Labor has steadfastly opposed every attempt by the Liberal Party to stop this pipeline being built, and making yet another major city reliant on the Murray-Darling’s scarce resources,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“The Bill I’ve introduced provides another way of stopping the Victorian Labor Government’s astonishingly irresponsible pipeline. Unlike Labor’s compromises of political convenience, this Bill is emphatically good for both the environment and irrigators.
“Kevin Rudd and Penny Wong have at every turn approved the diversion of 75 billion litres of water from the Murray-Darling system. Amazingly, they have even been supported by the South Australian Rann Government.
“It is time to stop kowtowing to the Victorian Government, to take a strong stand against this pipeline and embrace alternatives to secure Melbourne’s water supply.
“This Bill gives Kevin Rudd and Penny Wong yet another chance to put an end to the madness of this pipeline.

“For the sake of the Goulburn and Murray Rivers, the unique ecosystems reliant on them and the thousands of families in river communities, I urge Labor to admit this is a mistake and put an end to this pipeline now.”