Blame for the threat to the survival of the Murray Darling Basin Plan lies squarely at the feet of Ian Hunter and the Weatherill Labor government.
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston said the only state which had gone back on its promises and commitments regarding the Basin Plan was South Australia.
“Let’s be clear on the facts,” she said. “Like all Basin jurisdictions, the South Australian Government agreed in full to the Northern Basin review’s outcomes and the Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL) Adjustment Mechanism as part of the Basin Plan, knowing full well this would require amendments by Parliament once the science was completed and the SDL projects were nominated and assessed.
“The Weatherill Labor government is the only one of these jurisdictions that has gone back on its promises and withdrawn support for the Basin Plan.
“It’s disingenuous and hypocritical to accuse other jurisdictions of ‘doubtful’ commitments when yours is the only one actually breaking its commitments.
“To actually pretend this entirely political course of action is ‘standing with’ the Basin Plan is transparent nonsense. All other jurisdictions – and in my role I talk to them all the time – are disappointed at the criminally destructive path upon which South Australia is being taken by this toxic Labor government.
“There is, of course, an election next month and this appalling Labor government will do or say anything – even destroy the Basin Plan – to cling to power. Mr Hunter is placing at grave risk more than a thousand gigalitres per year of environmental flows into SA. He’s prepared to let the river and its communities die in order to save his scandal-plagued government.
“As I have consistently done ever since Mr Hunter’s little ice cream tantrum, I call on SA Labor to end the political games, come back to the table and reiterate its full support for the Basin Plan in concert with other Basin states – states which have never withdrawn their commitments like SA has.”