Oct 17, 2006

Turnbull misleads on water for Murray River

Turnbull misleads on water for Murray River

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

17 October 2006

In November 2003 the Howard Government promised to give the Murray River 500 giga (billion) litres within five years under the Living Murray First Step program.

Not a single drop has actually been returned as a result of the Living Murray First Step program.

Last night on the 7:30 Report, Malcolm Turnbull blatantly mislead viewers over the Howard Government’s performance.

KERRY O’BRIEN: Mr Beazley says, after three years, not a drop of that promised water has flowed into the Murray. Now, what responsibility does the Commonwealth take for that?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, there’s not a drop of truth in what Mr Beazley has said. 35 gigalitres was committed to environmental purposes this year. … it was deployed … Into the Murray, to water environmental sites, many of which I was visiting only two weeks ago.

The truth is that not one of the 500GL has yet been returned to the Murray River under the Living Murray First Step program.

The Howard Government has promised buckets of money, but hasn’t delivered a drop of water for the Murray River.

The Howard Government promises money, but no water flows from their promises.

The 35GL was not recovered following action by the Commonwealth under the Living Murray First Step program, and was in fact recovered from the Snowy River (25GL) and a donation of 10GL from South Australia. Malcolm Turnbull knows this.

The Federal Government’s tender process is for on-farm efficiency only and not for purchasing water entitlements to address the problem of over-allocation of water.

Malcolm Turnbull mislead viewers that the Government’s tender process was purchasing water, which is simply NOT the case.

Real political commitment is needed to buy real water so we can make a real difference to water levels in the Murray River.