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Labor's commitment to South Australia's regions.



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HON. SIMON CREAN MP Shadow Minister for Regional Development

LABOR’S COMMITMENT TO SOUTH AUSTRALIA’S REGIONS

In an address to the South Australian Country Labor Conference in Murray Bridge today, the Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Simon Crean, restated Labor’s commitment to SA regions and to restore the health of the Murray River.

At John Howard’s hastily convened Melbourne Cup crisis summit he called for bi-partisanship as the staggering revelation was made that climate change has caused the worst drought in 1000 years.

Labor wishes John Howard had supported bi-partisanship three years ago when Labor proposed Riverbank, to return the necessary 1500 gigalitres to the Murray to make it healthy again.

Labor also committed to set up an Environmental Flow Trust to guarantee water savings be returned to the river.

Imagine the progress if the Government had taken action on the issue then.

Until now, the Government has scoffed at the impact of climate change.

It has failed to return a single drop of water to the Murray, despite promising to return an inadequate 500 gigalitres in 2003.

Labor is still committed to return 1500 GL to the Murray, develop a national approach to recycle 30% of wastewater by 2015 and to work in cooperation with the States.

Labor is also committed to address the cause: climate change. It will ratify the Kyoto Protocol, increase the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target, cut greenhouse pollution by 60% by 2050 and establish a national emissions trading scheme.

Beyond the issue of water, Labor will develop a South Australian package in the lead up to the 2007 Federal election.

The package will recognise the transformation and diversification of the SA economy and the new opportunities in electronics, mining and agriculture, as well as manufacturing and agriculture.

‘I have visited many parts of South Australia over the last 12 months and have benefited from the contact. There are different challenges to be met. Just two examples are ensuring safe drinking water in William Creek and preserving the precious Painted Desert’.

‘I will be talking to the delegates to develop local solutions to these challenges and others’ Mr Crean said.

Labor is committed to ensure every region achieves its potential, by supporting and empowering local communities to develop solutions which stack up.

Contact: Louise Godwin 0438 773 842 *Copy of speech available

[10/11/2006]