Labor’s window dressing doesn’t go far enough for Basin communities
17 December 2019
Daniel Andrews and Lisa Neville are kicking the can on the Basin Plan down the road again.
Following today’s meeting of Basin Ministers in Brisbane, the Andrews Government has acknowledged there are “serious issues” with the constraints measures projects, but the Minister’s response falls short of what our communities expect.
Communities have accepted that these constraints are immovable. It's time the Minister did too.
In failing to acknowledge that the constraints management strategy cannot be implemented, the Andrews Government – along with the Commonwealth and other basin states – has conceded it’s still working on the false assumption huge volumes of environmental water can be pushed down the river.
It's time to throw the constraints management strategy in the bin and rethink how much water the environment can realistically deliver.
It’s also disappointing that yet again, the Minister has walked away from Min-Co without securing agreement from New South Wales and South Australia for a moratorium on new irrigation developments.
Without agreement from NSW and SA, Victoria’s decision to refer all water licence applications to the Minister for the next 12 months will only drive development over the river and see more water leave northern Victoria.
The Water Minister also missed an opportunity to raise the expansion of Lake Buffalo, which could achieve substantial water savings if a tri-state agreement with NSW and SA can be reached, with her interstate colleagues.