NSW Government’s Petulance Further Jeopardises Murray-Darling River

4 December 2019

Centre Alliance notes with disappointment statements being made by the New South Wales Deputy Premier threatening to pull out of the basin plan unless a number of demands are met. These demands include NSW not contributing to 450GL of water recover efforts, the lifting of the barrages, the inclusion of transmission losses as water returned to the environment and not progressing the water sharing plans until after the drought is broken.

"In repeatedly threatening to leave the plan, and proposing unreasonable demands, the NSW Government is behaving like a petulant child," said Centre Alliance Environmental Spokesperson Senator Rex Patrick. "All the NSW Government is doing is trying to distract the public’s attention away from the root causes of the problem, including over-extraction of water, and the NSW Government’s shameful track record of water mismanagement within their state."

"This is a Government who threatened to pull out of the Basin Plan in February and March 2018 if the Senate did not agree to allow irrigators to take an extra 70GL from the Northern Basin,” said Senator Patrick. "This is a Government that allowed widespread rorting and water theft to take place. This is a Government that stands condemned for the state of the Barwon-Darling ecosystem."

"Whilst Centre Alliance is of the strong view that the Basin Plan requires adjustment, repeated threats by the NSW Government to pull out of the Plan are disturbing and unwelcomed," said Senator Patrick.

"The Murray-Darling is in crisis. Whilst the river is suffering from the drought, there's absolutely no question it is also suffering from systemic mismanagement and over-extraction and that has been occurring for a very long time," said Rebekha Sharkie.

"However, no state can go it alone, including NSW. The river system is interconnected and we need to work together."

Centre Alliance supports the SA Government’s characterisation of the NSW’s demands as “irrational” and anticipates the SA Water Minister will resist any attempts to advance them.

Centre Alliance will use its position in the Senate to support the SA Government to ensure the upstream states meet their obligations under the basin plan.

Attorney-General fails on ‘Alan Johns’ secrecy case: Senate Inquiry Into National Security and The Courts Required
19 December 2019
The Attorney-General, Christian Porter MP, has provided an answer to a question on notice asked by Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick concerning the secret trial...
Read More
Federal Government Must Cease Murray-Darling Payments to NSW and Commence Water Buybacks
18 December 2019
In response to the NSW Government's announcement that it will not contribute to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan’s 450GL efficiency measures or submit its Water Resource...
Read More
Centre Alliance Secures Extra Mental Health Services for Veterans
6 December 2019
Veteran access to psychological and psychiatric services has been significantly improved after advocacy by Centre Alliance to Government during the passage of the Military Rehabilitation...
Read More
Time To End Foreign Influence Transparency Exemption For MPs
18 November 2019
Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick is pushing to enact a Parliamentary Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme to end the exemption that allows MPs and their staff...
Read More