MEDIA RELEASE: GOVERNMENT BLOCKS SENATE RESOLUTION FOR JUDICIAL INQUIRY INTO ALLEGED CORRUPTION IN THE MURRAY-DARLING BASIN
THE HON TONY BURKE MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIZENSHIP AND MULTICULTURAL AUSTRALIA
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS
MEMBER FOR WATSON
GOVERNMENT BLOCKS SENATE RESOLUTION FOR JUDICIAL INQUIRY INTO ALLEGED CORRUPTION IN THE MURRAY-DARLING BASIN
Today the Government again undermined its commitment to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. All members of the Government have just voted against a motion to have a National Judicial Inquiry into compliance with the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
This includes every single South Australian Coalition member - Member for Boothby, Nicolle Flint MP, the Member for Barker, Tony Pasin MP, the Member for Sturt, Christopher Pyne, the Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey MP, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Senator David Fawcett and Senator Anne Ruston.
On top of that, every Liberal and National member representing irrigation communities have let down law abiding irrigators with this vote.
Labor is calling for a judicial inquiry because the current processes have limitations. Only a judicial inquiry can compel witnesses to appear, subpoena documents, provide protections and immunity for whistle blowers.
Barnaby Joyce has been trying to hide from his responsibility as Water Minister for too long and Malcolm Turnbull refuses to step in and show some leadership on this issue.
Australians have a right to know if the rules are being kept to. Irrigators doing the right thing, communities along the Basin and every Australian taxpayer have a right to know that the water market is operating with integrity.
When the Basin Plan was put in to place it had the support of both sides of Parliament. The Murray-Darling Basin Plan is built on the foundations of the water market. The Government’s failure to properly investigate allegations of theft and corruption is a disgraceful response to a very serious issue.
THURSDAY, 10 AUGUST 2017