Details on Murray backflip needed, not shallow promises

  The Gillard Government’s reported new approach to recovering water for the Murray-Darling should be cautiously welcomed, but must be more than another headline grabbing promise without funding and other detail to support it, Coalition Basin spokesman Simon Birmingham said today.   South Australians waking to a headline “Win for our River” will recall similar…

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$20m months ago, still can’t confirm any application

  So little justification exists in support of a $20 million heritage grant that departmental officials still refuse to confirm even whether there was any application, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Simon Birmingham said today.   The absence of any documented rationale or request for the $20 million, provided to Museum Victoria for protection…

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Turnbull-Birmingham – Conroy all over the map

  The Coalition congratulates Senator Conroy and the Labor Government on the remarkable progress being made in the rollout of construction maps for the National Broadband Network (NBN).      Appearing before a Senate Estimates Committee last night, Senator Conroy last night confirmed his determination to ensure construction maps covering 758,000 premises across Australia are released…

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Productivity percolating through Canberra coffee

  Boosting public service productivity is apparently as simple as installing expensive coffee machines, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Simon Birmingham said today.   It follows confirmation from the Clean Energy Regulator in Senate Estimates today, under questioning from Senator Birmingham, that the installation of eight ‘Nespresso’ coffee machines at a cost of $20,175…

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Europe sets Australia’s outsourced carbon tax rate

  Climate Change bureaucrats have today confirmed that Europe will effectively set the rate of the carbon tax adding to Australians’ electricity bills, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Simon Birmingham said today.   It follows carbon tax redesign and linkage with the European Union announced by the Gillard Government in August.   The announced…

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Labor’s lingering ‘Pink Batts’ costly legacy

  Australian taxpayers have been informed that the late Home Insulation Program has cost them an estimated $2.156 billion in installation and clean up over four years.   Final costs and written off bad debts associated with the disastrous program have been detailed by Climate Change departmental officials at Senate Estimates under questioning from Shadow…

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Weatherill damaging Basin Plan goodwill

  South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill should apologise for misguided remarks attacking irrigators over Murray-Darling Basin water use, Coalition Basin spokesman Simon Birmingham said today.   Mr Weatherill has suggested farmers suffering stock loss and property damage as a result of any flooding associated with increased environmental flows in the Basin do not deserve compensation.…

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Basin modelling welcome but answers would be too

  The Coalition welcomes the release of today’s hydrologic modelling report.   We hope it will assist the state and federal governments to end the bickering and reach some agreement around this important reform.   The Coalition remains committed to Murray-Darling reform that delivers a triple bottom line that considers economic, environmental and social sustainability…

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Labor’s desal waste warrants investigation

  The Auditor-General should investigate the provision of hundreds of millions of dollars in Commonwealth grants for a mothballed desalination plant, Coalition Murray-Darling Basin spokesman Simon Birmingham said today.   Senator Birmingham’s letter* to Auditor-General Ian McPhee follows the decision last week to place the $1.8 billion Adelaide Desalination Plant ‘in standby mode’ until at…

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