The South Australian Water and the River Murray Minister, Ian Hunter, has announced that South Australia is withdrawing its support for any changes to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan until integrity in its delivery can be assured.
Mr Hunger said the future of the Basin Plan is in crisis, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull not only failing to act as Minister for Water Resources but also cancelling a crucial Ministerial Council meeting.
“Former Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Barnaby Joyce – embroiled in a citizenship crisis and now a by-election – left the portfolio in an absolute mess following the allegations of water theft and corruption aired on Four Corners in July.”
Since taking over the portfolio from Mr Joyce, Mr Turnbull has cancelled the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council that was due to discuss the crisis engulfing the Basin Plan.
Mr Hunter said that only a Royal Commission has the power to investigate the allegations involving water theft, corruption, the $78 million purchase of water by Mr Joyce and the questions raised last week in the New South Wales Ombudsman’s report.
“The South Australian Government has lost all confidence in the Commonwealth and New South Wales governments’ commitment to implementing”, he said
“South Australia will not be supporting the sustainable diversion limit adjustment package that would reduce the total volume of water sent down the Murray-Darling for the benefit of the environment.”