"Remaking the Basin Plan now, midway through its implementation would, in the MDBA’s view, be a disaster"
So says the Murray-Darling Basin Authority in its response to the South Australian Royal Commission, and Riverland-raised Conservative Party SA senate candidate Rikki Lambert says the Authority is dead right.
"As the Authority says, the Basin Plan was hard fought and was a compromise between all of the Basin States," Mr Lambert said.
"A review is scheduled in 2026, much of the work of which will occur during the next Senate term of 2019-2025. I'm seeking election to the Senate to ensure we stick to that Plan. Sarah Hanson-Young and her Greens and Labor colleagues, by contrast, are in a rush to re-start devastating buybacks," he said.
"The Basin Plan has, at its core, the vital need to balance the environmental, social and economic impacts. The Australian Conservatives see more than just a river, we see farmers, families, communities and cities like Adelaide and SA's regional centres for which the river is their lifeblood. The Authority has defended that approach today, and we support them."
"Let's not forget that the reason we have this mess of a SA Royal Commission report critical of the Authority is because the Coalition government wouldn't let the Authority participate in the Royal Commission, and the SA Liberals wouldn't allow the royal commission time to challenge that in the High Court. We need a federal Royal Commission to not only get the full story, but also to get to the bottom of the allegations of theft and diversion of water upstream."
"River people know that droughts are not the time to go weak-kneed or throw the baby out with the bathwater. We stick to the Plan and stick by our efforts to restore river health, by our farmers and river communities."
To read the full MDBA response, click here.
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