MEDIA RELEASE: Barnaby Joyce continues to fail the Murray-Darling Basin

Revelations last night on ABC Lateline are the next chapter in the increasingly alarming story about how the Murray-Darling Basin Plan has been undermined since Barnaby Joyce took responsibility for water. Every new allegation, every scandal, every investigation surrounding water theft is part of the same growing story that the health of the rivers are losing out.

This is why Federal Labor has supported the calls for a judicial inquiry through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) process. There needs to be an active arm’s length investigation capable of reaching every jurisdiction relevant to the Murray-Darling Basin. Barnaby Joyce has shown he is willing to undermine the plan.

A series of big irrigators have been subject to serious allegations of water theft therefore the integrity of the plan needs a minister to turn up and implement it and a compliance regime which is robust. Anything less than this is unfair to the many communities and the vast majority of irrigators who are law abiding while also risking the future health of the Murray-Darling Basin.


Tony Burke