Former NSW senator David Leyonhjelm has pledged to demand the NSW Government withdraw from the Murray-Darling Basin Plan if he wins a seat in the Legislative Council.
Speaking during World Water Day last week, Mr Leyonhjelm said he had spoken out about the ‘‘mismanagement’’ of the ‘‘failed’’ plan.
‘‘We simply cannot afford to sit back and wait for the plan to run its course until 2024. For too long NSW has seen our precious water sent downstream to South Australia, purportedly to help the environment, only to watch it evaporate or be used to fill the Lower Lakes for a sailing regatta,’’ he said.
‘‘In one of my last speeches to the Senate, I slammed the plan for devastating rural NSW and Victoria, where towns like Shepparton, Deniliquin, Griffith and others have been absolutely devastated by the loss of water.
‘‘Not to mention the shocking scenes of dead fish following the release of water from the Menindee Lakes to SA. In the meantime, SA farmers have lost almost none of their water yet SA politicians and commentators are the loudest complainers.
‘‘Why should NSW and Victorian farmers sacrifice vital water to keep the SA lakes artificially fresh and to facilitate a sailing regatta?
‘‘It’s high time our government stood up for NSW rural communities.’’
Mr Leyonhjelm praised the NSW Regional Water Minister Niall Blair for promising to stop any more water from the Menindee Lakes being sent to South Australia.
‘‘I will do everything I can to get us out of this absolute abomination of a plan,’’ Mr Leyonhjelm said.