David Littlerpoud MP David Littlerpoud

Labor’s sneaky closed-door consultation on water buybacks

March 10, 2023

Labor is sneaking into St George to hold closed sessions on its water buyback plan.

A St George information session on the Strategic Water Purchasing Framework will be hosted bythe Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water on Monday, 13 March,between 2 and 4pm.

However, the location remains a secret, and the website link only allows invited guests to rsvp.

Leader of The Nationals and Member for Maranoa David Littleproud described Labor’s tactic as“outrageous”. He said the local community deserved transparency and honesty about their future.

“It’s hard to fathom Labor would literally lock out the public on such an important issue,” Mr

Littleproud said.

“There needs to be community consultation. It’s no wonder the community feels angry. It begs thequestion, what is Labor trying to hide?”

The eventbrite website says the department is holding information sessions across the targetcatchments to recover water and bridge the gap on the Murray-Darling Basin Plan for SustainableDiversion Limits. It says the framework was released by the Australian Government on 22 Februaryand supports the opening of a strategic purchase tender on 23 March, 2023.

Sessions will be held in six catchments in New South Wales and Queensland and relate to thepurchase activity to select catchments and target a total of 44 gigalitres towards the remaining 49gigalitres of water recovery. The website also says “we acknowledge and apologise for the shortnotice”.

Mr Littleproud added Labor’s plan to go ahead with more water buybacks risked destroying

Queensland towns and worsening Australia’s cost-of-living crisis.

“Farmers can sell up and walk away but it will be the towns, the small business owners and thefamilies that will feel the pain inflicted by the Labor government.

“I am deeply concerned the final 14 gigalitres required to be recovered in Queensland won’t bethe end for the Basin Plan communities.

“If Labor wants to buy water from farms across the Basin including Queensland, the absolute leastthey can do is provide community consultation. Labor’s closed session is just plain wrong and I amdisgusted regional communities are being treated this way.”