Tony Burke’s call for the Coalition to decide on the draft Murray-Darling Basin Plan treats the notion of consultation with contempt, the Coalition says today.
“Dear Tony, I hear that you want to know our position on the draft basin plan? I didn’t know you had made up your mind. I didn’t realise it was all over and finalised. What’s the point of consultation if you have already made up your mind” said Senator Barnaby Joyce.
“See Tony the job of opposition is to interrogate the position of government. You have either a) given up on being the government or b) have a position that you don’t want to tell anyone about.
The Coalition will support a plan that balances economic, social and environmental outcomes.
“I would be very surprised if we can’t improve on the draft plan we already have so that we can get a better balance between economic, social and environmental outcomes. The Coalition does want to properly consider the genuine ideas from people in submissions on the draft even if the government might not want to.
“We need to ensure that more investment goes to making the way we grow food more efficient with less water. The government has spent less than 5 per cent of the $6 billion of the funds the Coalition left them for this purpose.”
“I urge all Australians with an interest in the Murray-Darling Basin reform process to have their say on the draft Basin Plan,” said Senator Simon Birmingham.
“Regardless of what Tony Burke may say this is still a draft plan on which people have a chance to highlight how it might be improved so we can get a good plan based on robust evidence.
“Tony Burke might wish this process was over but the Coalition is committed to ensuring we get the best possible Basin Plan which is based on robust scientific and economic evidence. We believe listening to the views of Australians is critical to achieving this, not pre-judging their views.”
The Coalition remains ready to discuss with the Government ways in which we can make a better Basin Plan.
“If you need assistance, Tony, feel free to make an appointment with us and we are happy to sit down and help get the best possible plan locked in. As I have said to you privately, and I am now saying publicly, I am only too happy to do this but, Tony, you have to invite me around.”