It was heartbreaking to see the Albanese Government break their solemn election commitment to deliver the Murray Darling Basin Plan on time, and in full.
The Plan is vital to the future environmental health of the Basin and South Australia’s long term water security. It was due to be fully implemented by the 30th June 2024.
Anthony Albanese came to Adelaide during the last election campaign and strictly promised to implement the plan by this date, but now the government say they can’t achieve this promise and are delaying implementation for years.
Nothing has changed in the intervening period; all the challenges of implementation remain the same and all the information available to Mr Albanese when he gave that commitment is equally unchanged.
The Murray Darling Basin Plan was created in 2010 to guarantee the long-term health and sustainability of the Basin. Central to this plan is the commitment to return 2,750 gigalitres (GL) of water to the river system, to ensure the health of the river in times of drought. In 2012, the Gillard Government added an additional 450GL of water to this requirement to achieve greater environmental outcomes for the Basin.
South Australia stands to be the main beneficiary of this additional water. Alas, this means that the government’s failure to deliver will be felt most acutely by our state.
With a Labor federal government and Labor governments in every mainland state, the Prime Minister and his water minister have absolutely no excuses for breaking their promise to SA. This delay has renewed the angst felt by all South Australians whose health and livelihoods rely on a sustainable River Murray system.
I will continue to stand up for the Murray and call out the government on their failures and broken promises.