PARLIAMENT DISALLOWS WATER ORDER
Stephanie Ryan - Wednesday, August 12, 2009
The Victorian Parliament Upper House has passed a motion moved by the Liberal Nationals Coalition to disallow parts of a water regulation which would have seen the Brumby Labor Government break key water promises.
The Coalition’s disallowance motion was supported by the Greens and DLP member Peter Kavanagh.
Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said the Coalition opposed the order because it broke three key promises made to Victorian communities.
“The government’s intention was to redirect water to Melbourne through the north-south pipeline despite it being promised to the Snowy and Murray rivers,” Mr Ryan said
“Labor also planned ‘negotiating with the Commonwealth’ on distributing savings from the second stage of the Food Bowl Modernisation Project, which contradicts its original promise of allowing the water to be split 50/50 between farmers and the environment.
“Furthermore the order lacks the necessary rigour in auditing savings from the Food Bowl Modernisation Project.”
Mr Ryan said the Coalition was determined to hold the government to account over its promises to the environment, to irrigators and communities in northern Victoria.
“Today’s successful disallowance motion in Parliament highlights the overwhelming opposition to the Government’s attempts to loot water from food producers and the environment because it has failed to plan for Melbourne’s future water needs,” Mr Ryan said.
“Labor’s hyperbole that by disallowing this order, the Coalition has denied water to the environment and Melburnians is factually incorrect.
“The ball is now in Premier Brumby and Minister Holding’s court to actually come back to Parliament with a fair and honest amendment to the bulk entitlement.
“Such an amendment should include a rigorous auditing process for savings which is approved by Parliament and where environmental water and savings that are meant for irrigators are delivered to them, rather than to Melbourne.”