Family First Senator Bob Day today welcomed the movement of responsibility for water (including the Murray Darling Basin) from the environment to agriculture portfolios in federal cabinet. The move comes as one aspect of the revised coalition agreement between the Liberal and National Parties.
“It has been opportune that fellow crossbenchers and I moved to set up a Senate Select Committee into the Murray Darling Basin,” Senator Day said, “I am deputy chair of that Committee and we soon start hearings in the Basin communities. We now have the perfect forum for the Senate to explore not only whether the Basin Plan has met the social, environmental and economic triple-bottom-line, but also what issues arise from the shifting of water responsibility in Cabinet.”
“There are a number of sensible reasons for agriculture having responsibility for water. Firstly, without water there is no agriculture. Secondly, for the first reason, it is incumbent upon agriculture to manage water sustainably for future use and generations.
Thirdly, farming and its communities generate the economic activity and taxes that make environmental expenditure possible.
Finally, the Basin Plan is well developed, legally established and, according to the recent SDL audit, likely to reach its targets. For all of those reasons, it makes sense now to hand responsibility for water to those who will continue producing benefits for the nation.”
Image: Clint Jasper, ABC News