MEDIA RELEASE: Coalition members joke in the house while Labor works to protect the Murray-Darling Basin

Labor has welcomed the decision of the Senate backing a motion to have a national judicial Inquiry into compliance with the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. This motion passed with support from Labor, the Greens, Nick Xenophon Team, SenatorBernardi and Senator Gichuhi. 

It is expected the House of Representatives will deal with this tomorrow but today during the debate in the House on allegations of water theft in the Murray-Darling Basin saw some extraordinary contributions from coalition members.

National’s MP Luke Hartsuyker initially stated he took the allegations of corruption into water theft on the Murray-Darling very seriously. He then tried to downplay the allegations of theft of one billion litres of water by saying there is a lot of water in the Basin.  

“…to put into context the scale of the allegations being made…I can inform the House that the Murray-Darling Basin long term annual inflows are some 32,553 gigalitres.”

This is like arguing that stealing a car doesn’t matter because it was taken from a very big car park!

Liberal MP Tony Pasin whose electorate covers a very large area of Murray-Darling Basin, stated that the solution for the environmental health of the fish in the Coorong river is to kill fur seals!

These flippant remarks from the Government show that they are not taking these allegations seriously. Labor’s call for a judicial inquiry through the COAG process is the only way to preserve the integrity of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

Tony Burke