Media Release: Basin Plan’s survival needs a bipartisan Tony Burke

Tony Burke can help rescue the Basin Plan by joining with the Coalition in the new year to support critical legislative amendments necessary for its continued delivery and implementation.

Minister Ruston said the Coalition is completely committed to delivering the Basin Plan in full.

“We’ve recovered more than 2100 GL/year for the environment, and we’ve approved SDLAM projects delivering outcomes equivalent to another 605 GL/year,” Minister Ruston said.

“The Government has already committed to deliver the first tranche of efficiency measures required by June 2019, and we will continue to work with Basin states on an agreed pathway to the balance by 2024.

“One of Tony Burke’s greatest achievements was getting the Basin Plan through Parliament in 2012 with bipartisan support,” Minister Ruston said. “One of the most important features of water reform in the Murray Darling Basin has been the spirit of bipartisanship in which Labor and the Coalition have worked together to deliver the Plan.

“Tony Burke faces a choice: he can continue the spirit of bipartisanship and work with the Coalition to support the Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism (SDLAM) and amendments arising from the Northern Basin review – measures already agreed to by all jurisdictions – or he can stand by and let the Plan be held to hostage by short-sighted State -based political interests.

“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed these commitments last month when he announced the new implementation agenda for delivering the Basin Plan. We call on Tony Burke and Labor to confirm their commitment as well, and to continue to work with us in the spirit of bipartisanship.

“Now is not the time for reckless political brinkmanship. Now is the time for leadership. I call on Tony Burke to join the Government in bipartisan efforts to ensure that the Plan is delivered.”

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