Nationals need a ‘reset’ on water policy

By Country News

A "reset" on water policy is needed from the Nationals, according to Central Murray Floodplain Environmental Group spokesperson Jodie Hay, who said it was time politicians stopped playing politics with water policy.

Mrs Hay, who is also a member of Southern Connected Irrigators and Communities (SCIC), said rural communities across the Murray-Darling Basin had been screaming out for better water policy for years.

“It is time for the National Party, in particular its leader and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, to stand up to the Liberals,” she said.

“Farmers and communities are being destroyed by appalling water management, driven by a basin plan built on false science for Liberal Party political gain. That is now clearer than ever.

“When in opposition, Michael McCormack strongly opposed the plan, but since he has been given the plumb job of deputy PM he has been prepared to sit back and watch his constituency suffer, with barely a whimper.

“If he does not have the courage to stand up to Prime Minister Morrison he should stand down.

“At this vital time of economic rebuilding we cannot have the prosperity of rural communities being compromised by a weak Coalition partner. It appears that’s what we have at present.”

Mrs Hay said there had been more than 100 reports into the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, most of them highlighting numerous flaws and making numerous recommendations.

“The latest report on the social and economic damage of the basin plan is sitting on the minister’s desk, amid concern the government does not want it released because it paints a sorry, but true, picture of what is happening under this appalling policy,” she said.

“The time for political posturing is over.

“We must have a reset — draw a ‘line in the sand’, as Nationals Senator Perin Davey said recently.

“What a sorry state our nation has reached when the party which once stood for rural Australia is not prepared to stand up for those who have been its backbone for generations.”