Efforts to help the Coorong recover received $70 million in additional funding following an historic agreement securing the delivery of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
Liberal candidate for Mayo Georgina Downer said the agreement by all Basin jurisdictions provided certainty for South Australia and the communities which relied on the river system.
“It’s time for the petty political games to end and for all stakeholders, parties and jurisdictions to declare their unequivocal support for the Basin Plan,” Ms Downer said. “Those who continue to undermine the Basin Plan from this point clearly do not have the interests of Mayo communities or South Australia at heart.
“The Murray is our State’s most important natural resource and the Basin Plan is our best hope for a healthy river system. There is no valid argument against this simple fact any longer. Those who still seek to tear down the Basin Plan place at risk the very future of our State—this will no longer be tolerated by the people of South Australia.”
Ms Downer said that to further strengthen community support for the Plan, all jurisdictions—including South Australia—must ensure there is a robust compliance regime accounting for every drop of water.
“Transparency and accountability are the keys here,” she said. “People in Mayo support the Plan but their confidence will be much greater when it’s clear all jurisdictions are genuine in their commitments to full 3200 GL being delivered under Murray-Darling Basin water reform.
“This agreement should help in this regard. An additional $132 million has been allocated to secure delivery of the ‘down-water’ projects totalling 605 GL, and a neutrality test will underpin the additional 450 GL to be delivered after the Basin Plan comes into effect, ensuring recovery creates positive or neutral socio-economic outcomes.
“I also welcome the $70 million announced for the Healthy Coorong, Health Basin Action Plan to help with the recovery of our iconic Coorong. It’s a great contrast to some of the useless gestures seen recently, which have served only to signal non-existent virtue while being unable to deliver a single additional drop of water, or native fish or bird, for the Coorong itself.”