The Coalition’s real action to safeguard the future of the Murray-Darling Basin has struck the right balance, winning positive responses from both irrigators and environmental campaigners, Coalition Murray Darling Basin spokesman Simon Birmingham said today.
“… the Coalition has raised the bar by committing to ensuring balance in the new Basin Plan … this commitment will be a relief to farmers, regional communities and all invested in sound environmental management of the Basin.”
National Farmers’ Federation President David Crombie, media release, 11 August 2010
“Australians can be confident that no matter which party wins the election, there will be a bipartisan approach to the Murray-Darling Basin’s most pressing problems in the next term of government.”
Australian Conservation Foundation executive director Don Henry, media release, 11 August 2010
“Winning praise from both primary producers and environmental groups is a rare feat in the water politics of the Basin, and is a clear indication that the Coalition’s plans address various concerns from different sectors across the Basin’s length and breadth,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“The Coalition is committed to achieving sustainability for the rivers of the Murray-Darling and is equally committed to continuing food and agricultural production in the communities of the Murray-Darling Basin. We understand the importance of managing water carefully.
“Labor’s abject failure on all fronts, and clear broken promise to “accelerate investment” in water saving infrastructure, raises questions about whether they are really even committed to effective national management of the Murray Darling.
“The Coalition’s detailed plans included a radical overhaul of water infrastructure, water buybacks and a new sustainable national basin plan.
“We are committed to short- and long-term increased environmental flows, including for South Australia’s Lower Lakes and Coorong, but also to compensating irrigators for reductions in entitlements and addressing the economic concerns of Basin communities.
“I am pleased that the hard policy work of the Coalition on this issue of critical national importance is being recognised by diverse interests all with the health of the Murray Darling at heart.”