Decision saves Murray-Darling Basin Plan
THE Federal Government has struck a deal with Labor to ensure the Murray Darling Basin Plan remains intact.
Water Minister David Littleproud and his opposition counterpart Tony Burke agreed to quash a Greens disallowance motion in the Senate on Monday that would have led to the NSW and Victorian Governments walking away from the water plan.
"I'm extremely pleased to have reached agreement with Labor, which means we'll deliver the entire Murray Darling Basin Plan, including the Northern Basin Review,” Mr Littleproud said.
"I reached out across the aisle to seek bipartisanship and aimed to provide leadership on this issue from day one. We rarely achieve lasting results by going to war.”
Mr Littleproud said the agreement represented a historic moment, five years after the original compromise deal between all political parties and four state governments was achieved against huge odds.
"Labor and Tony Burke created the plan and I'm delivering it as I promised to,” he said.
"In my short time as minister I hope to have demonstrated that transparency, integrity and compliance are important to me. Given this, I'm rapt with adjustments which will now be made to the plan.”
Mr Littleproud said Labor sought more clarity and firm assurances on a number of issues.
"The government has reiterated its commitment to the 450 gigalitres and the process of attaining it can now begin,” he said.
"Tony Burke pushed us on indigenous issues and we responded with a package we believe delivers opportunity to indigenous communities. The package also delivers $20million to help economic adaptation in communities impacted by the Basin Plan.
"This agreement finally provides certainty to the twomillion people who live in the Basin.
"People who are fatigued from the stress of not knowing how much water - the economic driver for most of these communities - will be in their district next year, not knowing if farmers will make money and employ people next year, not knowing if their own families, farms and businesses will be hurt.”