Media Release – Response to SA Labor’s Murray-Darling "Enemy of the State" Attack

October 17, 2015

Family First Senator Bob Day has today defended his record supporting family farmers in the Murray-Darling Basin, after South Australian Labor Premier “branded South Australian Senator Bob Day an enemy of the state for joining six other crossbenchers in urging Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to suspend water buybacks and focus on farmers and river communities”, according to the Adelaide Advertiser this morning.

“If I’m being attacked for fighting for family farms and river communities, I’ll wear that with pride,” Senator Day said, “Here’s a simple truth – family farms and river communities thrive when they have water. The opposite is also true – without water, family farms and river communities shrivel and die. That’s been the clear evidence to the Inquiry of which I am deputy chair and holds Goolwa and Renmark hearings on 8 and 9 December respectively.”

“The Murray Darling Basin Plan is meant to have a triple bottom line – social, economic and environmental. However, the environment has been the big winner, with 1,500 gigalitres to be bought back from irrigators.”

“The Premier may claim that’s ‘code’ for us not getting our 3,200 gigalitres, but that’s the spin we’ve become used to from SA Labor. SA’s annual water entitlement is locked in to the Plan and legislated. What I’m saying is, stop the buybacks now while we explore promising engineering and infrastructure works and efficiency measures that can go a long way to delivering on the Plan’s water recovery targets. The crossbenchers’ concern has been the devastation that buyback is causing in river communities, and uncertainty upstream about some MDB decisions.”

“I get attacked for talking about the facts and realities, perhaps I’m an enemy of the spin, not the state.”

Image: Lake Albert, Willow Images