Family First Senator Bob Day was today appointed deputy-chair of the Inquiry that he moved (also moved on behalf of fellow crossbench senators) – to investigate social, economic and environmental impacts of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
The Select Committee Inquiry on the Murray-Darling Basin Plan will meet within the next couple of months in Renmark in the Riverland and at Goolwa in the Lower Murray to hear community concerns.
A secretariat has been established (website here) to receive enquiries and submissions.
“I moved for this inquiry after hearing community concerns about the impact of the Plan and related matters designed to support River Murray communities in South Australia. The Plan was meant to consider the so-called ‘triple bottom line’ of social, economic and environmental impacts. However, the local economies throughout the Basin are struggling, and I am hearing concerns that the Plan has not properly accounted for that situation.”
“We also have a Bill before the Parliament at the moment seeking to cap buy-back of water entitlements at 1,500 gigalitres. The modelling indicates the majority of the remaining buyback will be from the ‘southern Basin’ – that includes South Australia. I am concerned about that because bought-back water results in less irrigated agriculture and horticulture, harming the social and economic sides of that triple-bottom line. We need to put all the infrastructure improvements on the table and ensure State governments are being co-operative in getting on with those improvements that will save water, rather than buying more irrigators out of business.”
Committee members: Day (SA, Deputy Chair) Leyonhjelm (LDP NSW, Chair)
Ann Ruston (LIB, SA) Madigan (IND, Vic) Canavan (LNP, Qld)
McAllister (ALP, NSW) Rhiannon (GRN, NSW)