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Barnaby may be back, but door to water ministry must stay closed

The Australian Greens are renewing calls for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to keep the keys to the Water Ministry out of the hands of Barnaby Joyce and the Nationals.

“Just because Barnaby Joyce has settled his citizenship blunder and has been returned to Parliament, does not mean we can forget the stuff up after stuff up at the helm of the Water Ministry,” Greens Murray Darling Basin spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“Barnaby Joyce this morning told his party room that he wants a ‘reset’, but he simply doesn’t deserve one. The Greens will not forget the mess he has made of the water portfolio and the Murray Darling Basin, and river communities will not forgive.

“From dismissing the need to investigate allegations of water theft, to telling his irrigator mates he had the water portfolio simply to ‘make sure we don’t have greenies running the show’ and admitting the agriculture and water portfolios were linked to ‘look after’ NSW irrigators, Barnaby Joyce has shown he is implicated in the cover up culture that threatens to bring down the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

“Tomorrow I’ll move in the Senate calling on the agriculture and water portfolios to be split, and for Barnaby Joyce to not be given the water portfolio following his incompetence, proven time and again, in the role.

“Australians have been ripped off to the tune of billions of dollars over the mismanagement of the Murray Darling Basin Plan, and river communities are struggling. This Plan was put in place to make sure there was enough water to sustain the environment and communities that relied on the river, and Barnaby Joyce has watched over its disintegration.”

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