Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Statement from the Water Minister Tony Burke

10 June 2011

Water Minister Tony Burke today said the Liberal/National Coalition's record on the Water Act spoke for itself.

"It is comprehensive and it is clear-as clear as you could hope-that this act was written with the intention of getting a fair balance between economic, social and environmental considerations."

Opposition Parliamentary Secretary for the Murray Darling Basin and Environment, Simon Birmingham, Parliament of Australia, 26 October, 2010.

"They have now gone out and got legal advice to say the bleeding obvious: that they should have been looking at the triple bottom line."

Opposition Water spokesman Barnaby Joyce, Parliament of Australia, 26 October, 2010.

"Claims that the Act prevent the MDBA from taking into account socio-economic issues in setting the SDLs are contradicted by the Act and the Guide to the Basin Plan itself. The need to balance the claims of the environment against the needs to agriculture and other consumptive uses is quite explicitly set out in the Act. An amendment to make what is already explicit more explicit would not change one fact on the ground nor would it make any easier the difficult task of balancing the claims of the environment and the claims of agriculture."

Former Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull, 9 December, 2010.

"There's been a lot of comment about the Act, a lot of comment about the Act. I'm not saying that this Act is perfect. There are very few Acts of Parliament which are perfect. But a government that had people like Barnaby Joyce and Bill Heffernan in it would be able to make this Act work for you, not against you."

Opposition leader Tony Abbott, Echuca, NSW, 8 November, 2010.

"The legislation quite clearly intended that impacts on the community and irrigation industry be carefully considered."

Liberal Member for Murray, Sharman Stone, Media release, 18 October, 2010.

"Now we all know and it is what many in irrigation communities have been arguing all along: that the authority can and should and must adopt a triple bottom line approach and that the act is not just environment, environment, environment."

Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack, Parliament of Australia, 26 October, 2010.