Water project spending figures being released today highlight some of the Rudd Government’s failures on water policy, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.
Water Minister Penny Wong is expected to use an address to the SA Press Club today to release figures showing more is being spent on water projects in South Australia per head of population than in Victoria or New South Wales.
“While spending on water projects in South Australia is welcome, the failure to invest more heavily upstream where it will have the greatest return only highlights the failures of Senator Wong and the Rudd Government,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“It is important to understand that the greatest opportunities for water savings, both through infrastructure upgrades and water licence buybacks, are in upstream New South Wales and Victoria.
“South Australia’s irrigation infrastructure is already recognised as being much more efficient than the upstream states, and there is significantly less water allocated to South Australian water users.
“Unfortunately, it is New South Wales and Victoria that have failed to progress spending on infrastructure upgrades, and it is New South Wales and Victoria that have imposed limits and barriers on the buyback of water licences.
“As a South Australian with an interest in the health of the Murray-Darling Basin, I’d be keener to hear about greater investment upstream which could return the most water to a system in desperate need.”