Commitment to Murray-Darling Basin agreement a ‘test’ for Labor on commitment to river health

Australian Greens

The Victorian Greens have welcomed the Victorian Labor Government’s vague commitment to the new Murray-Darling Basin agreement and their release of the Planning Our Basin Future Together prospectus, but warn the proof will be in the pudding.

The Greens say Labor must now focus on delivering proven, cost-effective measures that return real water to the environment, not dodgy schemes that sell out our ecosystems.

For over a year, Water Minister Harriet Shing has insisted that her government would not sign on to a national deal that involved Commonwealth buybacks, while stubbornly resisting calls by the Greens to sign on to the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement.

That appears to have been no more than hollow grandstanding.

Victorian Greens water spokesperson, Dr Sarah Mansfield, said Labor had been playing a political game with our precious water, spreading misinformation and pitting the environment and land users against each other, benefiting neither.

She said Labor now needed to prove they were genuine about improving river health and supporting rural communities by delivering on measures that returned real water to the environment.

As stated by Victorian Greens water spokesperson, Dr Sarah Mansfield MLC:

“The Victorian Labor Government has shown that their refusal to sign on the new Murray-Darling Basin Agreement was nothing more than hollow grandstanding.

“For over a year both the Premier and the Water Minister have stubbornly resisted the Greens’ calls to sign up to the deal in order to deliver better outcomes for the environment and rural towns.

“There is no evidence for the Minister’s previous claim that water buybacks harm communities. In fact, regional communities have benefited from buybacks both economically and ecologically.

“Labor has been playing a political game with our precious water, spreading misinformation and pitting the environment and land users against each other, benefiting neither.

“The proof will now be in the pudding. We don’t want to see Victorian Labor cooking up dodgy schemes with their industry mates that sell out rural communities and the environment. They must now focus on delivering proven, cost-effective measures that return real water to the environment.”

/Public Release. View in full here.