Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Abbott fails his test

Media release
16 April 2012

Tony Abbott was set an assignment over the weekend - to come clean to the public on his policy for the Murray Darling Basin.

The test was simple. All he had to do was tell us what he believed.

Today is the last day of public consultation on the draft plan for the Murray Darling Basin.

Almost 10,000 people have made submissions to the Murray Darling Basin Authority and with only hours to go, Tony Abbott is not one of them.

A final plan will now be prepared by the Murray Darling Basin Authority and eventually presented to Parliament.

Mr Abbott has been telling people who want less water for the environment not to worry because he won't support a bad plan and then tells those who want more water returned to the rivers not to worry because he'll only support a good plan.

So far no one has a clue what Tony Abbott's cute political tactic actually means other than making sure that no matter what the final plan looks like, he has an excuse to vote no.

The Murray Darling Basin is too important for these games. If his support is conditional he can't keep the conditions secret.

Labor has committed to supporting the plan in Parliament.

Labor will be supporting a plan that restores our rivers to health, delivers strong regional communities and sustainable food production.

It seems that the Coalition will continue to hide their real intentions from communities in the Murray Darling Basin.