Premier runs risk of backing SA into a corner

My Op Ed as published in The Advertiser:

Premier Jay Weatherill faces a stark choice on the Murray Darling Basin Plan: blow it up or sit down at the table and help make it work.

The Australian Government is committed to delivering the Basin Plan in full. The Commonwealth’s policy has not changed, there is no proposed amendment.

The SDL Adjustment Mechanism, which is the part of the plan that delivers an additional 450GL of environmental water on top of the 2750 Plan, requires the agreement of all states.

Premier Weatherill and his Minister for Water know that.

But they know they can sit down with us and have a mature, adult conversation – without swearing – about how we can achieve the Basin Plan’s objectives within the legislation; delivering the water needed for the river’s health without smashing river communities across the Basin, including the Riverland in South Australia – the community in which I live!

Instead they are rapidly cornering South Australia into a position from where it may be politically unable to discuss solutions for achieving the water recovery targets.

They are putting the Basin Plan on a path to destruction. While there is a fierce agreement between Basin states on delivering the plan, there remain upstream interests who would delight in seeing the end of it.

Mr Weatherill’s obstinacy is playing right into the hands of these interests, and is going directly against the interests of South Australia.

Premier, currently it is me who is standing up for South Australia and the Murray River.

Are you going to join me or are you going to keep playing politics?

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