Today’s Murray-Darling ministerial meeting provides Water Minister Tony Burke with the chance to answer the many outstanding questions Labor’s mishandling of basin reform has presented.
Coalition Murray-Darling Basin spokesman Senator Simon Birmingham has called on Mr Burke to seize the opportunity provided by today’s meeting in Albury to deliver newfound clarity and direction to the floundering Murray-Darling reform agenda.
“It’s not too late for Tony Burke to get this trouble plagued process on track,” Senator Birmingham said.
“Today’s meeting of ministers is the perfect chance to ensure all stakeholders in basin reform understand the pathway forward.
“Having just completed the latest of many visits to basin communities I understand that confusion reigns supreme for all of those whose lives are influenced by the Murray-Darling system.
“Currently the minister and Murray-Darling Basin Authority are at loggerheads over interpretation of the Water Act, the Government is spending ever more on buybacks while failing to progress water saving infrastructure, and promises of no delays are being made despite obvious delays if new studies and inquiries are to be genuinely taken into account.
“It is little wonder there is mass confusion as to the direction on water policy and it is clear that everyone with an interest in the Murray-Darling is in desperate need of answers and direction from Tony Burke and the Gillard Government.
“With the resignation of Mike Taylor as MDBA chairman the reform agenda is in desperate need of leadership. Now is the time for Tony Burke to step up to the plate and today is the day for him to do so.
“Mr Burke, all eyes are on you today. Leadership can provide some clarity for everyone; more ambiguity will only lead to more pain for everyone. Over to you.”