Image Upload

File size must be less than 500kb

File types (jpg, png, gif)

Darling River IMAGE: Tim J Keegan, Cc By-sa 2 0

MDBP Royal Commission

MDBP Royal Commission

Darling River IMAGE: Tim J Keegan, Cc By-sa 2 0

The Speak Up campaign has spoken out against a proposed Royal Commission

The Speak Up Campaign has spoken out against a Royal Commission into the Northern Basin buybacks, proposed by Labor's water spokesperson Tony Burke.

The Speak Up Executive, Linda Fawns, said it seemed like an attempt to discredit the former water minister Barnaby Joyce.

"It seems like it's just a political power gain more than anything," she said.

Article continues below

"It's concerning that they just want to look at the Northern Basin, when there is problems right through both the Northern and Southern Basin."

She said his support for a Royal Commission sounds more like a way to secure votes in South Australia and the capital cities, than an effort to fix the flaws in the Plan.

"We have serious concerns about Mr Burke’s view of water policy, and his past record gives us even less confidence. He has previously promised to protect rural communities, but these were hollow.

"He now tells us he is going to reintroduce water buybacks, which will further devastate rural communities, and scrap the neutrality test which has been developed by the Federal and State Governments to provide a level of social and economic protection."

Mrs Fawns said if a Royal Commission was pursued then it needs to include the Basin Plan as a whole.

"We need to make sure if there is a Royal Commission that we do get it right.

"We need to make sure that the terms of reference are correct, and the communities affected have input to the terms of reference in regards to the Royal Commission, and it looks at all the flawed science and all the flaws in the Basin Plan, not just one area."

She said bringing South Australia into the the Basin Plan is part of the solution to fixing flaws.

"Things like looking at local projects in South Australia to improve end-of-system, and not relying on the Murray River and its storage to fix those problems, and looking at solutions that aren't just 'add more water,'"

The Latest