David Littlerpoud MP David Littlerpoud

More water buybacks threaten to destroy Queensland towns and force up food prices

February 7, 2023

Labor’s plan to go ahead with more water buybacks risks destroying Queensland towns and

worsening Australia’s cost-of-living crisis.

Leader of The Nationals and Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said Water MinisterTanya Plibersek’s revelations that she would not allow more time for states to deliver efficiencyinfrastructure for nearly 350 gigalitres, while ignoring the economic and social safeguards for the450 additional gigalitres, would be a huge blow to regional communities.

Mr Littleproud said it would also drive up grocery bills even further.

“If that much water is purchased from farmers, less food is produced, so every Australian will paymore at the check-out,” Mr Littleproud said.

“The infrastructure programs designed by the states to deliver water for the environment justneed to be given time to be completed and the safeguards Labor created for the additional 450gigalitres just need to be respected.

“Farmers can sell up and walk away but it will be the towns, the small business owners and

families that will feel the pain inflicted by the Labor government. Australian families will

potentially have 25 per cent less food and fibre available to them, according to the National

Irrigators’ Council, if the Labor government uses buybacks instead of infrastructure to recoverwater for the environment.”

Mr Littleproud said the Minister’s statement meant in his electorate of Maranoa, the final 14gigalitres required to be recovered in Queensland would not be the end of the Basin Plan forcommunities.

“It means the Albanese government will buy water from farms right across the Basin includingQueensland without a safety net to recover the additional 450 gigalitres.”

Mr Littleproud added he was also disappointed Queensland Water Minister Glenn Butcher hadgone silent.

“Where is Minister Butcher and why is he not fighting for these communities that are about to bebutchered themselves by Labor? Labor’s plan will wreak havoc throughout regional Queenslandand ultimately, it will put more pressure on Australian families at the grocery store. All Australianswill pay for Labor’s refusal to consult and save our farming areas.”