Murray Darling pressure on NSW working: Lambert

February 18, 2019

The pressure the Senate has put on New South Wales is working, with the NSW Nationals leader joining Conservative and other calls for a national Royal Commission into the Murray-Darling Basin, according to South Australia's Conservative Senate candidate Rikki Lambert.

The federal Nationals' water minister David Littleproud - whose electorate encompasses cotton farms in southern Queensland - has rejected the call.

"Minister Littleproud has rubbished his NSW party colleague joining the growing chorus calling for a Royal Commission," Mr Lambert said.

"The Minister has dismissed the call for a federal Royal Commission, saying the SA Royal Commission has only recently concluded. However, as I said at the time, the SA Royal Commission was only half the story. The federal government did not allow the MDBA to participate, nor did the SA Liberal government allow the SA Royal Commission more time to force the MDBA to attend via the High Court," he continued.

"What the SA Royal Commission did find were substantial deficiencies in the MDBA's ability to monitor or meter water pumping and diversion in NSW and Queensland, and that goes to the heart of why we need a Federal Royal Commission. Labor and the Greens have gone off half-cocked and reverted to type, demanding that devastating buyback of farmers' water entitlements resume. That's not the answer - the Basin Plan is the answer, staying the course is the answer," Mr Lambert said.

"Why on earth would you mothball farms in SA when you don't know how much is being stolen or diverted in NSW or Queensland? The fact the NSW Nationals have come to the party demonstrates why South Australia needs senators who aren't beholden to major party interests but will put water security and the Basin Plan first," Mr Lambert concluded.

Last month, Rikki visited the Riverland to look at the state of the Murray for himself.

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