Farmers and Food come second to Swan

Senator Barnaby Joyce

Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Water

Farmers and Food come second to Swan

The Federal Budget has confirmed that when Mr Swan is in need of funds to dodgy up the books, that pinching it from Regional Australia is as good a place as any to get it. The result is the Federal Budget has placed the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in further uncertainty and disarray, according to Shadow Minister for Water, Senator Barnaby Joyce.

“Labor has decided to duck shove $940 million on infrastructure spending to bring community friendly environmental benefits to the Murray-Darling Basin off into the future while moving $40 million community destroying water buybacks into 2011/12. So, send the doctor down the road to make room for the undertaker in the house” Senator Joyce said.

“This government has already spent more than half of its funds reserved for water buybacks but has spent less than 10 per cent of the funds available to upgrade irrigation infrastructure in the Murray-Darling. Every year the government commits to infrastructure funding and every year they are deferred.

“It looks like feeding ourselves from a healthy Murray-Darling Basin is right up there with their current attitude to Defence” Senator Joyce said. “As far as Labor is concerned you do not need an insurance policy, as the house has not burnt down for years”.

“Water reform is difficult, but it isn’t so difficult as to justify the awful mess that the Government appears to be making of it.

“It’s straight forward, really – invest in efficient infrastructure and there will be more water for everybody to share and less people hurt.

“Minister Burke is getting to the pointy end of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan but it looks like the 2.1 million people of the Basin and the tens of millions it feeds are becoming playthings for a budget as competent and credible as the Carbon Tax.