Minister applauds Conservative common sense on Basin Plan

May 03, 2018

Education Minister Simon Birmingham has welcomed Australian Conservatives leader Cory Bernardi's declaration on Adelaide radio that he will not support the Greens' attempt to wreak havoc with Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young's disallowance motion would block a 605 gigalitre reduction Murray Darling Basin Plan water recovery target. The attempted reduction is part of the structure of the Basin Plan and reflects the triple-bottom line of optimal environmental, economic and social impacts, finding the most efficient way to deliver water for all three purposes.

The Advertiser reports the Murray Darling Basin Authority chair Neil Andrew is warning while the plan is no “silver bullet”, if we don’t follow its processes “we will not have a Basin Plan”.

Mr Andrew said his job is to deliver the plan, no matter what. “It is a very complex plan. Until advised otherwise, I intend to continue to implement it, with the target of delivering it in full and on time,” he said. In recent months the Plan has been plagued by controversy. Reports of water rorting, highlighted by Senator Bernardi in Parliament, sparked a series of inquiries, while amendments to the plan have been threatened by the Senate.

The vote on the Greens' disallowance is expected to come before the Senate during Budget week next week.

Below: Audio from ABC Adelaide panel discussion on the Basin Plan adjustment, featuring Senator Bernardi and Minister Birmingham:

To see Senator Bernardi's speech to the Senate about his significant concerns about corruption in the Murray Darling Basin, click the box below:

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