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Talks on the Murray end in abject failure.



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Mon, 25th February 2008 TALKS ON THE MURRAY END IN ABJECT FAILURE

The Hon Greg Hunt MP Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Urban Water (to 22 September 2008)

After three months of inaction on the Murray Darling crisis today's meeting between Federal Water Minister Penny Wong and her Victorian counterpart Tim Holding has ended in abject failure.

Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Urban Water, Greg Hunt, said he was astonished that the meeting ended with an admission that a deal could still be months away.

''The Coalition announced the $10 billion National Plan for Water Security over a year ago and it was quickly supported by every State except Victoria,'' Mr Hunt said.

''It is breath-taking that Senator Wong and Mr Holding couldn't even secure an in-principle agreement today.

''To announce that 'today's discussions were another important step' would be laughable if the consequences were not so severe.

''This is an embarrassing outcome for the Government and a bad outcome for water users, particularly farmers and South Australia.

''For a Government that promised to end the blame game, today's outcome was a flop.

''It's time the Prime Minister returned the Murray to the priority list and secured the national agreement which was 90 per cent complete when we left office.''