When Labor was in government, we got the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in place after a century of conflict. Now, under the Liberals and Nationals, the entire plan is now at risk.
The purpose of the reform was to restore the system to health, but the plan becomes meaningless if there is no integrity to the system for measuring water.
The Murray-Darling Basin Plan must be delivered in full and on time if there is any hope for the health of the basin.
We saw for 100 years what the Murray-Darling Basin looked like without a plan. When different sides were not meeting in the middle, the result was a river system starved of water as environmental necessity was overridden by personal interest. The past demonstrates the importance of a strong plan to keep the river healthy and personal interest in check.
Labor is committed to:
- Introducing legislation to repeal the 1,500GL cap on water buybacks.
- Restoring the integrity of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority by moving its compliance functions to the new Federal EPA, and ordering a formal review of claims that public servants acted unlawfully.
- Urgently reviewing the impact of climate change on the Murray-Darling Basin now and into the future to determine any change in inflows and evaporation rates.
- Urgently renegotiating the Menindee Lakes agreement, which determines how the lakes are managed and is now decades out of date.