At a time when Australians are suffering from cost-of-living pressures, they are now being forced to fund a massive job-destroying policy which will decrease the nation’s productivity, drive up the cost of living, and see more imported food on our supermarket shelves whilst diverting billions of dollars of taxpayers’ funding from health, education, roads, and housing.
Federal Labor’s Murray Darling Basin legislation has been passed by the Senate.
Deputy Nationals Leader and Shadow Water Minister Perin Davey said while it has cost Australians $150 million to secure cross bench support for the Water Amendment (Restoring our Rivers) Bill 2023, the full cost to the taxpayer is shrouded in secrecy.
Senator Davey said the Albanese Government promised $100 million to the Greens for Indigenous water and $50 million to ACT Senator David Pocock for the upper Murrumbidgee catchment to gain their support.
“Communities throughout the Basin now know what they are worth to Labor, the Greens, and city-based politicians who have just sold them down the river for a pittance,” Senator Davey said.
Nationals Leader David Littleproud said this is nasty and vindictive policy, and a dark day for Basin communities.
He said the government has shifted the goalposts and torn up not only its own legislation, but Basin communities themselves.
Nationals Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack, said all Australians will be affected by Labor’s Murray Darling Basin plan.
He said Labor has had its city blinkers on throughout the whole debate, and those who voted for the legislation wouldn’t know an irrigation channel if they saw one.
“Labor has consigned Australia to less homegrown and more imported food and this equals higher grocery prices at a time of a cost-of-living crisis,” Mr McCormack said.
“It is quite possibly the worst example of a Labor Government choosing political ideology over taking a pragmatic and logical path.
“This is a profoundly sad day for Basin communities.”