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Three wasted months for the River Murray.

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

The ailing River Murray system has had to endure three long wasted months while the Federal Government fiddled with plans to fix the river system.

Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Urban Water, Greg Hunt, said the Rudd Government had consigned the Murray to a second-tier issue.

''It is outrageous that in the three months since the election Labor's Water Minister Penny Wong could only find time for one meeting with the Victorian Premier on the issue,'' Mr Hunt said.

''It is simply not good enough that under her watch the Murray has been allowed to slide from the national agenda.

''The Coalition announced a $10 billion National Plan for Water Security in January last year.

''The plan would provide a massive new investment to improve water management across the Murray-Darling Basin.

''It would work to improve the efficiency of the national water system and tackle the over allocation of water in rural Australia.

''Only the political thuggery of the Victorian Government prevented this plan from going ahead.

''Why is it that all the States except Victoria were able to agree to sign up to the plan?

''After the political games finished at the election on 24 November last year Ms Wong should have taken immediate action to end the stand-off.

''It is shocking and disappointing for farmers and other water consumers, particularly South Australia, that the Rudd Government hasn't been able to find the time to bring the Victorian Government into line.

''After three wasted months, it's time for the Federal and Victorian Labor Governments to stop playing games with the Murray and get on with the job of fixing the river system.''