Kevin Rudd needs to urgently set a date for a meeting with the states on saving the Murray-Darling Basin, Senator Simon Birmingham said today
Senator Birmingham said with the Murray-Darling left off of this week’s COAG meeting agenda, Mr Rudd needs to immediately set another date to bring the states into line and reach a national agreement.
“If Mr Rudd believes climate change is the great moral challenge of our generation, then surely at the Australian level there is no more critical and immediately pressing challenge than water security and the future of the Murray-Darling Basin,” Senator Birmingham said.
“With the UN Climate Change Conference now concluded, Mr Rudd and Water Minister Penny Wong must make water security back home among their very top priorities.
“It is nearly a full year since the previous government outlined a plan for water that has been stymied and delayed by the Victorian Labor Government ever since.
“Water is the first big test of whether wall to wall Labor Governments can truly deliver the cooperative approach and better outcomes Mr Rudd promised during the campaign.
“We wait to see whether Mr Rudd will simply go to water and cave in to the Victorian Government’s intransigence on this issue, or whether Victoria was simply cynically playing politics on this critical issue to try and help get Mr Rudd elected.
“To make any progress on water, Mr Rudd and the states have to come together to discuss the issue and they must do so in a matter of weeks.
“The Murray-Darling Basin is desperately crying out for help, and we desperately need a date for a meeting to come to its aid.”