News

Support urged for basin plan

By Country News

The Basin Community Committee has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten and other politicians appealing for continued bipartisan support for the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

Independent advisory committee chair Rory Treweeke said his 16 members, who represented communities across the basin, were extremely concerned at the political fracturing that was undermining confidence and trust in the basin plan.

‘‘The basin plan is founded on bipartisanship in our parliament and is agreed by all basin governments — state and Commonwealth,’’ Mr Treweeke said in the letter.

‘‘Our communities need the plan to work and for all decision-makers to stay the course and support the plan.

‘‘Communities understand that the basin plan has an important job to do in bringing the natural system back to balance. It is an adaptive plan focused on achieving positive outcomes for our environment, our communities and our economy. These outcomes will take generations, not election cycles.’’

The committee called for unity, continuity and leadership in delivering the basin plan, especially in the face of ongoing drought conditions across the basin.

‘‘The drought has re-ignited criticism of the plan, and state and federal election cycles are providing a platform for disunity. Dismantling the plan will not make it rain, and we cannot create water where there is none.

‘‘We need our leaders to stop playing politics with the plan and support their communities with the implementation of good public policy.

‘‘Now, more than ever, your support is critical to restoring trust and confidence in the basin plan.’’

■The Basin Community Committee’s full letter is available on the Murray-Darling Basin Authority website: www.mdba.gov.au/publications/mdba-reports/basin-community-committee