Labor gives away $328m for no river benefit

Labor gave away $328 million for Adelaide’s desalination plant without requiring the South Australian Government to give up water from Adelaide’s River Murray entitlement.

Senator for South Australia Anne Ruston said Federal money for the plant should have been contingent on a reduction in Adelaide’s draw on the River Murray.

“What we’ve heard in Senate Budget Estimates today is that the SA Labor Government is required to give up water, but not specifically from Adelaide’s entitlement,” Senator Ruston said.

“That means it could come from anywhere – or anyone – within the State’s diversion limit.

“Given the State Labor Government’s penchant for taking water from irrigated food producers, I am horrified what this will mean for those farmers should there be another drought.

“This is all the more worrying when that Government’s water minister is on the record saying he won’t activate the desalination plant until there is no more water in the Murray and the level Adelaide’s reservoirs are low.

“South Australians were told that the extremely expensive Adelaide desalination plant would reduce the city’s reliance on the Murray.

“State Labor sold the line and Federal Labor bought it for $328 million of taxpayers’ money.”

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