Labor has finally confirmed that there’ll be less water for jobs and Murray-Darling Basin communities under an Anthony Albanese-led Labor-Greens Government.
Water Spokesperson Terri Butler confirmed in an ABC interview Labor’s plan for hard-fought socio-economic protections to be torn up and more water taken out of productive job-creating uses across the Basin.
Member for Mallee, Anne Webster said Labor has now confirmed what we all suspected, that they’ll put Basin communities last.
“Communities and irrigators should be very concerned at the prospect of a Labor/Greens/Independent alliance with confirmation job-destroying buybacks were not off the table,” Dr Webster said.
“Put simply, under Labor more water will be recovered for the environment at the expense of productive, job-creating water.
“That means water from Mildura to Cohuna will see more pressure on growers and the spectre of job losses will have devastating flow on consequences on local communities.
“Growers and communities have led the charge in water saving practices, and under a Labor/Greens/Independent alliance would be left to bear the brunt of a disconnected policy that will have real world consequences.
“Under the Liberal and Nationals Government we listened to our Basin communities who had suffered under water recovery through the Basin Plan and implemented the protections they deserved.
“Disappointingly, but predictably, what we have heard this week from Labor’s Environment spokesperson is confirmation that the Labor/Green/Independent alliance’s water policy is not about regional communities.
“Instead the Labor/Greens/Independent alliance is about securing numbers on paper, pandering to the inner-city Green vote, and appeasing climate policy idealists over regional strength.
“Because the Liberal-National Government continues to put Basin communities first, local economies are booming.
“Instead of clawing more water from communities who have already given enough, the Liberals and the Nationals are delivering job opportunities, driving down unemployment, and ensuring the health of the Basin.
“This hasn’t happened by accident, but make no mistake it would all be at risk under a Labor/Greens/Independent alliance.
“Because the Liberals and the Nationals are from these Basin communities we know firsthand that water policy is never easy or simple.
Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt said the only guarantee of water security for our communities without harmful buybacks is with a Liberal-National Coalition.
“The Liberals and the Nationals have fought and continue to fight hard for an implementation of the Basin Plan that puts our regional communities at the heart of the plan,” Mr Pitt said.
“Guaranteeing no more buybacks means that regional towns will not be devastated by the brutal buybacks that a Labor/Greens/Independent alliance will impose.
“A vote for the Labor/Greens/Independent alliance is a vote for weaker basin communities, less local jobs and more harmful water buybacks.