Federal Water Minister Penny Wong has left South Australia out in the cold with her appointment of seven new members of the National Water Commission according to Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham.
Minister Wong announced the new appointments on Friday afternoon, electing to appoint a Canberra based chair, two commissioners each from New South Wales and Victoria and one commissioner each from Queensland and Western Australia.
“At a time when South Australians are more concerned about water reform than ever before it is remarkable that none of the new commissioners are based in or at least have substantial experience in SA,” Senator Birmingham said.
“While I am sure each of the commissioners brings independence and sound skills to the table, the absence of any South Australian connections will make it that much harder for South Australians to have confidence in the work and operations of the Commission.
“With the opportunity to appoint seven new commissioners it beggars belief that Minister Wong could not find a single South Australian with the impartiality and skills to do the job.
“Despite being a South Australian Senator herself, a decision such as this leaves one wondering if Penny Wong really appreciates the depth of concerns felt across SA.
“Although our water resources must be managed on a national basis, in the national interest and away from parochial state interests, South Australians must also have confidence that our grave concerns about the Murray and water security are being heard.
“Penny Wong appears to have turned a deaf ear to those concerns by leaving SA out in the cold with these appointments.”