Penny Wong has resorted to desperate stunts to divert attention from her Government’s lack of attention to the plight of the Murray-Darling Basin, Coalition Basin spokesman Simon Birmingham said today.
“… I am laying down a challenge to Barnaby Joyce: Barnaby, release your water policy and come here to Adelaide and debate me on water.”
Penny Wong, media conference, 4 August 2010
“This is a desperate stunt from a desperate Minister,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“We will soon release a detailed policy as part of the campaign.  Where is your policy, Minister?
“It is the height of hypocrisy for Penny Wong to be calling for the release of policies she is yet to release herself and which her own leader can’t bring herself to discuss.
“For someone laying claims to being South Australian, Julia Gillard has been remarkably silent on all matters relating to the Murray Darling Basin let alone the plight of the Lower Murray and Lower Lakes in this state.
“Tony Abbott made the need for national management of the Basin a central topic of one of his first major speeches within six weeks of becoming Leader, and has visited communities on the Lower Lakes and elsewhere in the system.
“How does Penny Wong propose to have a fully informed debate when her actions have resulted in the delayed release of the draft Basin Plan?
“Penny Wong took months to appoint the Murray Darling Basin Authority and has never delivered on budgeted water saving infrastructure spending, while billions of dollars have been granted to the same states who messed up the system in the first place.
“Hollow challenges from a desperate Minister won’t mask the reality that Penny Wong and Julia Gillard have failed to deliver for the Murray-Darling Basin.”