Labor election pledge to fight for Murray

Labor says it will install a Commissioner for the River Murray in South Australia and prepare for High Court action over the Murray Darling Basin Plan if it wins the March state election.

Nov 08, 2021, updated Nov 08, 2021
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The Opposition has also pledged to act on every demand of the Murray Darling Royal Commission and present a “series of demands” to the federal government over water policy, including that a South Australian representative be appointed to the Murray Darling Basin Authority Board.

It comes amid an ongoing tussle between the State Government and the Nationals over the delivery of 450 gigalitres of water which would most benefit the SA portion of the Murray.

The allocation was agreed to in the Murray Darling Basin Plan but the Nationals have pushed to ban the government from buying back water from the eastern states to return to South Australia.

Labor says the Commissioner for the River Murray would be an eminent jurist who would advise the State Government and work with irrigators, environmentalists and river communities to improve water management.

The commissioner would report back to parliament once a year.

The Opposition also says preparing for High Court legal action is a bid to ensure the Murray Darling Basin Plan is delivered in full.

“The River Murray is the lifeblood of so many South Australian communities, businesses and jobs,” Opposition leader Peter Malinauskas said this morning.

“As we have seen over the past three and a half years, when we have a weak State Government, the eastern states trample all over us.

“That’s why Labor has a plan for action to ensure that South Australia’s interests are put first.”

The Opposition also over the weekend pledged to scrap the State Government’ electric vehicle tax which was legislated in parliament last week.

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