“Today’s announcement of $25.03 million in approved funding to local councils for water saving infrastructure is far short of the action needed to make a real difference to Murray Darling Basin health,” Coalition spokesman Senator Simon Birmingham said today.
“Every dollar spent on water saving infrastructure is welcome, but $25.03 million is a drop in the bucket compared with the level of funding required to progress the hundreds of critically important projects that have been left waiting by Labor.
“The projects being funded are welcome and will hopefully provide value for local communities, but much more is needed.
“Today’s announcement of successful applicants demonstrates that local councils in Basin communities are showing the capacity to deliver water saving projects where Labor State Governments are failing miserably.
“Under the Intergovernmental Agreement signed nearly two years ago, billions of dollars were promised for water saving infrastructure projects – projects that would actually return water to the system and move us towards a more sustainable Murray Darling Basin.
“Tragically Labor Governments have failed dismally to get what they themselves describe as ‘priority projects’ off the ground, with many still languishing in the project development process.
“This failure to deliver highlights the lacklustre pace of reform under the Rudd Government.
“It is time for Minister Wong to get serious about the water crisis, stop making excuses and force her Labor mate premiers to comply with their promises to deliver water saving infrastructure across the Basin.”