Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Albo’s 450 gigalitre pledge an election stunt that won’t be delivered

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Independen­t Member Murray Helen Dalton says Federal Labor’s pledge to return an extra 450 gigalitres of water to South Australia is a hollow election promise that won’t ever be delivered.

“Anthony Albanese is desperate to win the marginal South Australian seat of Boothby. So he’s made a big promise to give more water to the South Australian­s,” Mrs Dalton said.

“But in order to deliver this promise, he needs the agreement of the states. His Victorian Labor counterpar­ts have already comprehens­ively rejected his election pledge.”

Mrs Dalton said she will also firmly oppose Albo’s 450 gigalitre push.

“What we need to focus on is environmen­tal outcomes, rather than chasing a number that doesn’t have any real meaning.

“I’d like to see targets for carp reduction, tackling thermal pollution and improving water quality.

“River health has declined markedly since the Murray-Darling Basin Plan was introduced.

“The Basin Plan is poorly targeted. Government­s have come after Southern Basin irrigators for buybacks but ignored so much of what happens further upstream.

“Why has Albo not said anything about floodplain harvesting in the Northern Basin?

“Northern irrigators have taken trillions of litres of water without a licence or regulation.

“Much of this occurred when federal Labor was in power between 2007 and 2013. Yet they did nothing to stop it.

“We need a federal royal commission into the corruption and mismanagem­ent that’s occurred under the Basin Plan.

“Sadly, federal Labor does not support that either. Nor do the Liberals and Nationals.

Mrs Dalton said basin states have agreed to apply a strict socio-economic test to ensure communitie­s are not disadvanta­ged by further buybacks.

“We are seeing small towns across the

Southern Basin losing population, health services and facilities.

“What’s the plan for small towns that are slowly dying? What alternativ­e industries and services are the major parties investing in? Do they expect everyone from purpose built irrigation towns to just move to Sydney and Melbourne?

“What we need is a comprehens­ive plan that seeks to look after people and the environmen­t, rather than just chasing a number.”

 ?? ?? Independen­t Member Murray Helen Dalton.
Independen­t Member Murray Helen Dalton.

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