Government cuts red tape on the Murray

The Abbott Government today moved to cut unnecessary red tape by disallowing an ecological listing on the River Murray below the Darling junction made by the previous Labor government.

Senator for South Australia Anne Ruston said communities, landholders and businesses in the River Murray corridor would welcome the move.

“This listings was made by the former minister a matter of hours before we entered caretaker mode for the election,” Senator Ruston said.

“They were opposed by all affected state governments, while affected communities and other stakeholders were not consulted. Throughout the river corridor, businesses and landholders expressed great concern at the additional regulatory burden the listing imposed on their communities.

“The listing was also completely unnecessary. There are many listings of individual wetlands and threatened species already in place which provide full protection to the ecological community.”

Senator Ruston said the Abbott Government was not convinced the listing provided additional environmental protection that justified the burden of red tape is could have placed on river communities and stakeholders.

“River communities are still recovering from the previous drought and are also in the process of adjusting to a future with less water available for irrigated food production,” she said. “They don’t need unnecessary environmental red tape getting in their way.

“The Abbott Government is committed to protecting the environment in the Murray-Darling Basin by utilising existing listings of wetlands and species, and by implementing the Basin Plan in full and on time.”

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