Where are your Estimates answers, Senator Wong?

  The Rudd Government is refusing to answer key Estimates questions relating to water policy, Coalition Murray Darling spokesman Simon Birmingham said today.   “The Government’s failure to answer key questions makes a mockery of the Senate Estimates process, usually one of the more effective means of accountability,” Senator Birmingham said.   The October round…

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Murray Darling referendum: ‘Yes’, Minister?

  Water Minister Penny Wong should make clear how she would vote in a Murray Darling Basin referendum, Coalition Murray Darling spokesman Simon Birmingham said today.   A Coalition Government will call a referendum to refer powers necessary for effective, independent management of the Basin’s water resources, should the States remain unwilling to do so…

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States retain whip hand over Murray Darling Basin

  Kevin Rudd’s so-called historic agreement on national management of the Murray Darling Basin has left the States with too much control, Coalition Murray Darling spokesman Simon Birmingham said today.   “An analysis of the agreement reveals just how much power remains vested in the individual Basin States, and highlights the need for true national…

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Wong’s silence says so much

  Water Minister Penny Wong has today refused to indicate satisfaction with her Government’s current flawed deal governing management of the Murray Darling Basin.   The refusal came in an interview on Adelaide radio, following Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s policy announcement last night to deliver true national management of the Basin.   Senator Birmingham: “…is…

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Coalition will right Federation wrong

  Coalition policy announced last night by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott will deliver true national management of the Murray Darling Basin.   “The founding fathers’ failure to provide for national governance of the Murray Darling Basin has resulted in more than a century of unsustainable pressure being placed on the system,” Coalition Murray Darling spokesman…

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Haiti Earthquake Disaster – Appeal for Donations to UNICEF

  Melissa Parke, Member for Fremantle, and Chair of the Parliamentary Association for UNICEF, and Senator Simon Birmingham, the Association’s Deputy Chair have called on concerned Australians to donate to UNICEF’s emergency appeal in order to provide life-saving essentials for those affected by the Haitian earthquake.   Donations can be made by visiting www.unicef.org.au or by…

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Lessons from NSW floodwaters debacle

  The New South Wales floodwaters saga highlights the need for genuine national management of the Murray Darling Basin and should be a learning experience, Coalition Murray Darling spokesman Simon Birmingham said today.   Senator Birmingham welcomed an in-principle agreement from the New South Wales Government to release ‘reasonable’ flows downstream but said the situation…

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Rudd should clarify mini-me envoy’s status

  The Rudd Government should clarify the status of its expensive Whaling Envoy and whether he’s in for the long haul, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.   It follows revelations, through Senate Budget Estimates, that the Envoy’s never-ending ’round the world mission’ of diplomatic dialogue has already cost taxpayers more than half a million dollars…

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Time running out to secure fair flow of floodwaters

  Acting Prime Minister Gillard and Premiers Rann and Keneally must give Murray Darling Basin officials in-principle approval to release emergency floodwater for downstream communities today, according to Coalition Murray Darling spokesman Simon Birmingham.   The Basin Officials Committee will meet tomorrow to discuss the floodwaters about to flow into the Menindee Lakes. This committee,…

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