David Littlerpoud MP David Littlerpoud

Labor to sacrifice Basin communities on altar of environmental water targets

March 2, 2022

Labor has finally confirmed that there’ll be less water for jobs and Murray-Darling Basin communities under an Anthony Albanese-led Labor-Greens Government.

Water Spokesperson Terri Butler confirmed in an ABC interview Labor’s plan for hard-fought socio-economic protections to be torn up and more water taken out of productive job-creating uses across the Basin.

Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said Labor has now confirmed what we all suspected that they’ll put Basin communities last.

“Communities and irrigators should be very concerned at the prospect of a Labor/Greens/Independent alliance with confirmation job-destroying buybacks were not off the table,” Mr Littleproud said.

“Put simply, under Labor more water will be recovered for the environment at the expense of productive, job-creating water.

“That means water out of towns and communities like St George, Cunnamulla and Dirranbandi, which will severely impact everyone from farmers through to the family-owned local business.

“Under our government, these Maranoa communities received a boost through the Murray-Darling Basin Economic Development Program, which saw projects such as the $5 million Dirranbandi and St George Wild Dog Exclusion Fence Project come to fruition. This, in turn, delivered economic benefits that strengthened both the agricultural sector as well as the rural and remote communities that support them.

“Under the Coalition Government we listened to our Basin communities who had suffered under water recovery through the Basin Plan and implemented the protections they deserved.

“Disappointingly, but predictably, what we have heard from Labor’s Environment spokesperson is confirmation that the Labor/Green/Independent alliance’s water policy is not about regional communities.

“Instead, the Labor/Greens/Independent alliance is about securing numbers on paper, pandering to the inner-city Green vote, and appeasing climate policy idealists over regional strength.

“Because the Coalition Government continues to put Basin communities first, local economies are booming.
“Instead of clawing more water from communities who have already given enough, the Coalition are delivering job opportunities, driving down unemployment, and ensuring the health of the Basin.

“This hasn’t happened by accident but make no mistake it would all be at risk under a Labor/Greens/Independent alliance.

“Because the Coalition are from these Basin communities, we know firsthand that water policy is never easy or simple.

“The guarantee of water security for our communities without harmful buybacks sits with a Liberal-National Coalition, who have fought and continue to fight hard for an implementation of the Basin Plan that puts our regional communities at the heart of the plan.”