Murray-Darling - Decentralise the Authority and have a Royal Commission

January 29, 2019

With a major new report finding the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is running late, could cost half a billion dollars more and the authority overseeing its implementation is conflicted, Conservative Party South Australian candidate Rikki Lambert has suggested moving its head office to the Riverland.

The ABC reports, in its five-year review of the plan, the Productivity Commission has recommended basin states take responsibility for implementing the controversial $13 billion dollar plan, rather than the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA).

The Victor Harbor Times reports, Mr Lambert says the Conservative Party is calling for the establishment of a Royal Commission into the Murray Darling Basin Plan, citing “systemic corruption concerns within the Basin.”

"A proper Royal Commission - with powers to call for evidence and punish those who do not co-operate - can only be called by the government, not by the parliament,” said Lambert. 

“We can apply pressure in the parliament, but it takes the government to act. For so long as the Liberals resist a national Royal Commission, it becomes an election issue."

"Bear in mind the federal government has not co-operated with the South Australian Royal Commission, which is due to publish its hamstrung report this week,” said Mr Lambert. 

Mr Lambert has told Andrew Reimer on Adelaide radio station FIVEaa, moving the MDBA's head office to South Australia also seems to be a logical step.

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