Sep 29, 2006

Liberals divided and slow on saving the Murray River

Liberals divided and slow on saving the Murray River

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

29 September 2006

The Liberal Party and Howard Government should be judged over what they actually do, not what they say, over the Murray River.

Today, Victorian Liberal spokesman for Water, Dennis Napthine, said on ABC radio that

“we should slow down our commitment to the Living Murray”.

If the Howard Government slowed down any more over the Murray River it would have to start going backwards.

In November 2003 the Howard Government promised to give the Murray River 500 giga-litres within five years.

Despite the 2003 and 2006 Budget rhetoric from the Howard Government, not a single drop has actually been returned as a result of the Living Murray First Step program.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Water has backed away from his previous support for purchasing water for environmental flows.

Delay in action will only increase future costs. The truth is the Living Murray is on life support.

Leadership is needed to make the Murray a healthy working river once again.

The Government should match Labor’s plan to get 1,500 giga-litres back into the Murray River.