Jay Weatherill and the South Australian Government have extraordinarily passed on the opportunity to explain the benefits of his Murray-Darling Basin deal with Julia Gillard to a Senate inquiry in Adelaide this morning.
The Senate committee inquiry is taking evidence on two pieces of legislation* that relate to the much hyped announcement made by the Prime Minister and Premier at the Murray Mouth last month.
Until late yesterday the South Australian Government had been scheduled as the opening witness at the only hearing being held in South Australia only to withdraw at the 11th hour.
“It’s all very well for Jay Weatherill and Julia Gillard to be enthusiastic about a press release devoid of any detail, but they should also be willing to explain whether the resultant legislation actually delivers on their hype,” Coalition Basin spokesman Simon Birmingham said.
“This is the second time in two weeks that Jay Weatherill has squibbed it when it comes to having to discuss the detail of his deal on the Murray.
“Just last week Jay Weatherill big-noted himself by calling a press conference outside Christopher Pyne’s electorate office – knowing full well he was in Canberra – calling on all SA Liberal MPs to support legislation he now refuses to explain.
“The Coalition is committed to ensuring a plan that delivers for the River and provides certainty for Basin communities but, unlike Jay Weatherill, we are also committed to doing the hard work of ensuring the reality matches the rhetoric.”
*Hearings into the Water Amendment (Long Term Average Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment) Bill 2012 and the Water Amendment (Water for the Environment Special Account) Bill 2012 commence at the Adelaide Town Hall at 9.30am (was 9am until the Weatherill Government’s withdrawal)