The Australian Greens will refer the Murray Darling Basin Plan to a senate inquiry once parliament resumes, to investigate the roll-out of the plan and allegations of corruption as revealed by the ABC Four Corners program today.
“Allegations of misuse and abuse of taxpayer money in the Murray Darling Basin Plan have put the spotlight on serious failures that need to be subjected to a full investigation. I will refer the Murray Darling Basin Plan to a senate inquiry as soon as parliament resumes next month,” Greens Murray Darling Basin spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said today.
“South Australia, the environment and taxpayers are all being screwed while a misuse of water caps is being used to line the pockets of big irrigators upstream. The Murray Darling Basin Plan cost taxpayer $13 billion, and extraordinary amount, and now we see the river isn't even getting its fair share. This abuse of money and water should alarm all taxpayers.
“River communities have every right to feel betrayed with the failure of the plan, which has allowed private irrigators to take the lion’s share of flows through the river system.
“A senate inquiry to investigate what exactly is going on here, including these revelations of the misuse and abuse of the cap system and allegations of taxpayer’s money being wasted, needs to take place as soon as possible, leaving no stone unturned.
“This plan has always been about lining the pockets of big irrigators. It’s been haemorrhaging money while the sustainability and the health of the River has fallen by the wayside. Our communities and environment should not have to suffer in the face of wealthy irrigators who were given carte blanche over water coming into the system.”