SA calls for strong leadership on the Murray-Darling Basin Plan

Monday 16 December 2019

MEDIA RELEASE

The South Australian Government is calling on all Basin jurisdictions to show mature leadership and continue to progress delivery of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan at tomorrow’s Ministerial Council meeting in Brisbane.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said he is focussed on delivering what has been agreed to, to improve outcomes for the environment, farmers and communities that rely on the river.

“The river is a shared resource and as such, it is our shared responsibility to achieve a sustainable and healthy river system for current and future generations,” said Minister Speirs.

“The South Australian Government is calling for mature, balanced leadership at the Ministerial Council meeting to continue to progress the delivery of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

“Unfortunately there has been a lot of public posturing in the lead up to this Ministerial Council, instead of constructive conversations to improve outcomes for our environment, irrigators and communities who rely on a healthy, working Murray-Darling Basin.

“Over recent weeks we have heard a litany of conspiracy theories regarding the Coorong and the Lower Lakes that South Australia firmly rejects.

“Talk about removing the barrages is nonsense and we won’t be making any changes to water sharing agreements that have stood the test of time.

“The Plan is critical in striking the balance between delivering water to communities that rely on the river and ensuring the future health of the Basin environment.

“Our priority heading into Tuesday’s meeting is to continue to progress the Basin Plan, which is delivering for the health of the river and the communities that depend upon it.

“Blowing up the plan will cost communities, the environment and farmers and importantly, it will not deliver a single extra drop of water.

“This will simply result in buybacks to achieve the required water which we know is the worst result for regional communities.

“South Australia is already doing its bit to help out drought-affected farmers across the country by ramping up production at Adelaide’s Desalination Plant to provide up to 100GL of water to keep breeding livestock alive.

“As we saw last week the Water for Fodder Program has had a huge response and our government is proud to do our part and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our farmers during this incredibly difficult time.”