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Tuesday, 27 February 2018
Page: 2050

Mr ZAPPIA (Makin) (13:39): When the former Leader of the National Party was handed responsibility for the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, South Australians had good reason to be concerned that the plan would not be delivered as agreed to and that South Australians would lose out. Their concerns were well founded, with alleged water thefts and reductions in environmental water returns already causing grief. Disappointingly, the new leader of the National Party spells even more bad news for South Australians. This is a person who has never believed in the basin plan, who voted against it in 2012 and who has continued to talk it down in this place ever since.

The new Deputy Prime Minister believes that South Australians are not entitled to any additional water and should be grateful for what they get. South Australian farmers simply don't matter to the Deputy Prime Minister, who does not have a single National Party member in South Australia. And, when it comes to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, where are the Liberals from South Australia? They have gone missing, criticising Labor's support for a disallowance motion that would have seen another 70 gigalitres of water that was meant to be returned to the Murray not returned.

South Australian farmers use the least amount of water and were the first to invest in irrigation efficiency measures. They deserve better. Only a Labor government is committed to the basin plan.