Member for Barker Tony Pasin is calling for clarity on Labor’s plans for recovering the additional 450 gigalitres of water under the Murray Darling Basin Plan as Water Minister Tanya Pilbersek sends river communities continued mixed messages.
In the lead up to the Federal election, Prime Minister Albanese promised to deliver the additional 450 gigalitres ‘in full and on time’ and refused to rule out water buybacks to achieve this goal.
Not only is the new Water Minister now looking at delaying the June 2024 deadline for the additional water recovery, but she still refuses to answer questions about whether she plans on sticking to the social and economic neutrality test in doing so.
On top of this confusion, the Minister last week mislead Parliament by claiming that since coming to Government she has recovered more of the 450 gigalitres than the previous Government.
“The Minister claims she has contracted two gigalitres since the May election. Under the Coalition, 23.3 gigalitres were contracted and we did this without breaching the social and economic neutrality test,” Mr Pasin said.
“The Coalition understands that buybacks kill communities. That is why, under the Coalition Government, water secured for the environment was only done so through measures that were socially and economically neutral, such as finding efficiencies,” Mr Pasin said.
“Minister Plibersek needs to give clarity to river communities. Does the Minister plan on scrapping the social and economic neutrality test to deliver the additional 450 gigalitres?” concluded Mr Pasin.
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