The Australian Senate has again sent an unequivocal message to Kevin Rudd that the North-South Pipeline, which will send 75 billion litres of water a year to Melbourne, must be stopped.
Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham said this Senate action followed the defeat of Coalition amendments to block the pipeline by Kevin Rudd and the Labor Party in the House of Representatives earlier this week.
“Regrettably Labor has steadfastly opposed every effort made by the Liberal Party to stop this pipeline being built and making yet another major city reliant on the scarce resources of the Murray Darling Basin,” Senator Birmingham said.
“Throughout this debate only Kevin Rudd or John Brumby have ever had the power to stop this pipeline. Once again, I urge them to sit down like grown-ups and find an alternative to the construction of this pipeline.
“The refusal of the Rudd Government to do anything about the North-South Pipeline suggests that Penny Wong and Kevin Rudd are more interested in a quick political fix to water rather than doing what is right by the Murray Darling Basin and the environment overall.”
The Liberal amendment moved to the final passage of the Water Amendment Bill 2008, supported by the Nationals, Greens and Independents, to immediately prohibit construction of the pipeline, the extraction of water for the pipeline, ensure commitments of State Governments under the Living Murray Initiative are honoured and deliver emergency relief funding to the communities of the Lower Lakes.
“I urge the Rudd Government to heed this strong message of the Senate,” Senator Birmingham said.
“While further progress to the national water reform progress started by Malcolm Turnbull is welcome, it is a shame it has been so compromised by the types of political deals with the states that have harmed the Murray for so long.
“It is not too late to stop the unacceptable draining of billions of litres of water from the Murray Darling system and I intend to continue to pressure the Government at every opportunity to bring this madness to an end.”