Sheed critical of basin plan roll-out

By Rodney Woods

State Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed has criticised the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, in particular calling out mismanagement and fraudulent behaviour in the northern basin.

During parliament recently, Ms Sheed addressed Victorian Water Minister Lisa Neville, saying that the roll-out of the plan was concerning.

“Minister, the ongoing roll-out of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is a cause for great concern throughout the southern basin, and there is little confidence that there will be integrity in its ongoing management,” Ms Sheed said.

She said the reason for the lack ion confidence was "the litany of mismanagement, questionable water purchases and fraudulent behaviour, particularly in the northern basin" and that "more recently allegations of tampering have occurred in relation to evidence about South Australia’s scientific reports into the Coorong lakes".

Noting an agreement made by COAG water ministers, Ms Sheed called on the minister to ensure no further water would be removed from the Goulburn-Murray Water district under the agreed socio-economic impact test.

“What steps will the Victorian Government take to ensure that the socio-economic test will be applied fairly and that no further water will be removed from the consumptive pool as part of all these projects?” Ms Sheed said.

Ms Neville responded by saying her government was committed to applying the strict socio-economic test agreed to.

“It is my view that no more water will come from the consumptive or productive pool — it has to come from water savings, otherwise we risk the future of the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District and other productive areas,” she said.