Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon. Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Will the Coalition's Real Water Spokesperson Please Step Forward

Media release
3 August 2011

The Coalition has been exposed in their hypocritical approach to water reform in the Murray Darling Basin.

Water Minister Tony Burke today called on Tony Abbott to come clean on where the Coalition stands on water reform and to clarify who speaks on behalf of the Coalition.

The Murray Darling Basin Authority today announced that it is aiming to release a Draft Basin Plan in October and would extend public consultation to 20 weeks to provide communities with the opportunity to be involved in the process.

Once again, the Coalition are broadcasting one message to irrigation communities and another message in South Australia from the Shadow Minister for Water Barnaby Joyce and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Murray-Darling Basin Simon Birmingham.

Barnaby Joyce has been busy telling Basin communities in the regions that he supports delay for water reform.

With this delay the Government has the chance to get things right in the Murray Darling (Barnaby Joyce, media release 2 August 2011)

Meanwhile, Simon Birmingham has been speaking on Adelaide radio this morning...

There's 16 weeks in the laws for government to consult with the states. If the work is done. If it's there. It should be released so they can get on with the consultation.

"Mr Abbott has no plan for water and the Liberal/National Coalition is in disarray on water reform," Mr Burke said.

"While the Gillard Government is working with basin communities to prepare for the delivery of a basin-wide plan the Opposition continues to spread fear and misinformation".