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Monday, 26 February 2018
Page: 1829

Water


Ms RISHWORTH (Kingston) (14:25): My question is to the Prime Minister. Is the Prime Minister aware of a report that to become Prime Minister he made an agreement which gave the member for New England and the National Party ministerial responsibility for water? Given the new Deputy Prime Minister has said that the Murray-Darling Basin Plan was 'environmentalism gone mad', has the Prime Minister today discussed with the new Deputy Prime Minister any agreements relating to water?


Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:26): The Labor Party, purely for the purpose of trying to ingratiate itself with Greens voters in the seat of Batman, is putting the whole Murray-Darling plan at risk. They're seeking to vote down the Northern Basin Review, which the member for Watson initiated. He set it up when he was minister for water. It was part of the plan, and they want to vote that down in the Senate. As a consequence, we've seen the governments of New South Wales and Victoria—Liberal and Labor governments—raising the question of whether they will continue to be part of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. It is recklessness on a grand scale.

Nobody on that side of the House knows how reckless it is better than the member for Watson. He knows because he was minister for water—he understands the politics of it—but he has been overruled by the green Left in the Labor Party, who are pursuing inner-city votes at the expense of the jobs of farmers, irrigators, cities and towns right down the Murray-Darling Basin. This is a disgraceful abandonment of jobs, farmers, production, and the environment by the Labor Party as they pursue Greens votes in the seat of Batman. It demonstrates their utter failure to have regard to the importance of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. In that context, I want to say that the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the member for Maranoa, has been doing an outstanding job in endeavouring to keep the plan on track despite the wrecking activities of the Labor Party and the Greens.