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Tuesday, 19 February 2019
Page: 13885


Mr THISTLETHWAITE (Kingsford Smith) (13:33): Australians have been shocked by the environmental disaster that struck the Murray-Darling Basin over summer. The outbreaks of algae have killed up to a million fish, and seeing the Menindee Lakes choking with the sheer volume of dying fish is truly alarming. These rivers and water sources are precious resources and they're facing increasing pressure due to increasing temperatures and more extreme conditions such as drought.

Recently we saw the findings of the Murray Darling Basin Royal Commission, where the commissioner described what went on as 'gross maladministration' and 'negligence'. Yet the Liberals and Nationals have gone missing during this crisis. It's a common theme with this government on anything to do with the environment. Doing nothing is not a strategy. Government needs to govern. The Australian Academy of Science report into the causes of the mass fish kills in the Menindee area shows a solution is possible. Our rivers, creeks and wetlands have been neglected for too long. That's why only a Shorten Labor government will restore urban rivers with a $200 million investment to ensure all Australians can benefit from our waterways. Only Labor is serious about protecting the environment. We're taking action on climate change, investing in the environment and maintaining Australia's status as the great outdoors.