Australians deserve to know what the Prime Minister thinks about South Australia’s threatened High Court action over the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, Coalition Basin spokesman Simon Birmingham said today.
Visiting Adelaide, Julia Gillard has today offered only platitudes about understanding South Australia’s frustration at being at the end of the river system and being determined to get a plan operational.
However, Ms Gillard has today refused to be drawn on the helpfulness or otherwise of Labor Premier Jay Weatherill’s threats to take the Basin Plan to the High Court.
“South Australians heard a lot of promises from Julia Gillard during the election campaign on the Murray and other water issues, including that she was “determined that we will do what is necessary to implement the Murray Darling Basin Authority plan”.
“Having already broken empty promises on fixing the Menindee Lakes water storage and delivering a stormwater project in eastern Adelaide, Ms Gillard has said frighteningly little since the campaign on delivering national management of Australia’s largest river system.
“It seems strange that Julia Gillard offers no view at all on the prospect of Mr Weatherill’s reckless threats seeing other states walk away altogether and for the Basin reform process to just collapse.
“Basin reform has all but derailed on Labor’s watch, with the Government’s failure to articulate how water savings will be achieved or ensure confidence in the science behind its proposed Basin Plan being key factors behind community anxiety.
“Julia Gillard’s inability to offer anything more today than platitudes and a reminder that she grew up in SA will disappoint anyone with an interest in the economic and environmental wellbeing of the Basin.”