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Monday, 8 February 2010
Page: 771

Mr BRIGGS (6:51 PM) —It is difficult to follow that, although I am not sure I disagree given the column in today’s Australian from Mr Milne. I rise to again speak in this place on the Murray-Darling Basin and the mismanagement or lack of progress being made by the Rudd Labor government in fixing the biggest environmental crisis facing the nation. The Rudd government came to power with much promise and hype in 2007. They said they were going to take charge of this crisis in the Murray-Darling Basin. They were going to get the states to agree with their Labor cousins at the federal level. However, what we have seen is a complete failure to get a national agreement, which is one of the first steps needed to get some genuine reform on the Murray-Darling Basin.

We are seeing examples of this failure already. There was some decent rainfall in the northern part of the basin which led to large flows into the Menindee Lakes. But, unfortunately, because of the lack of control and the failure of the Labor government on this issue, those waters are now caught up in the Menindee Lakes and are not flowing down to South Australia and into the Lower Lakes where environmental flows are needed so desperately. It really is an indication of the failure of this government and the failure of the Rann government. Fortunately in about a month’s time we will have an opportunity to get rid of the Rann government and get a real reformist government when it comes to water in South Australia, and we look forward to that opportunity.