Thursday, 17 February 2011 08:38

Opposition says Govt can’t meet deadline

Written by 
Julia Gillard Julia Gillard

PRIME MINISTER Julia Gillard is deliberately misleading Australians by claiming she wants to keep the Murray-Darling reform process on time, according to Coalition Murray-Darling Basin spokesman Senator Simon Birmingham.


Birmingham says the Prime Minister knows full well that delays imposed by her government in the form of a parliamentary inquiry mean the reform cannot and will not be delivered according to the initial timeline.

The Prime Minister said earlier this month that the Government had to keep on time, which would mean legislation would be implemented this year.

However, Birmingham says the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has already advised the Gillard Government that current timelines cannot be met.

“Documents released by the MDBA under Freedom of Information laws make it clear that agreed timelines, where the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is finalised this year and complying state water plans start to take effect in 2014, now cannot be met,” Birmingham says.

“The MDBA had planned to release the draft Basin Plan last month, but Julia Gillard and Water Minister Tony Burke have delayed that release until well after the House of Representatives inquiry into water reform chaired by Tony Windsor reports on May 31 this year.”

In advice to Burke, former MDBA chairman Mike Taylor, who resigned last month, stated that “given the processes prescribed in the Act, the proposed Basin Plan must be released in early 2011 at the very latest”. He further says this would be a “challenging deadline”.

The MDBA says finalisation of the draft plan “… could take in the order of 40-50 weeks, if there’s a reasonable level of agreement to the Plan, and much longer if there is significant disagreement at the Ministerial Council level”.

“The Basin Plan will not be finalised, on the MDBA’s own advice, until the second half of 2012 at best, putting the whole reform agenda at least a year behind schedule,” Birmingham says.

“If she’s properly briefed then Julia Gillard should know that her promise to keep Murray-Darling reform on time is impossible to meet.

“Rather than misleading Australians, playing with the lives of those who depend on the Basin for a living and jeopardising achievement of a sustainable management plan, the Prime Minister should front up to the fact that her government needs to get this trouble plagued reform back on track.”


More like this

Water buybacks will hurt

Dairy famers in the Murray-Darling region fear a new round of water buybacks will put more pressure on water supplies and prices and potentially threaten their viability.

What the Basin Plan means for you

FOR ALL its headache-inducing complexities, the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in practical, on-farm terms boils down to two simple questions for dairy farmers.

More from this category

National Foods closes cheese sites

National Foods will sell its cheese processing plants in South Australia and close its two Victorian plants within three years.  The moves were announced as part of a $132 million investment in Tasmania, aimed at rationalising the company’s cheese making business.

NZ payout drop delivers a 'sobering blow'

NEW ZEALAND dairy farmers will be forced to make more hard decisions in the season ahead, as the country’s processors slash their forecast farm gate milk prices to well below the cost of production.

Milk processors want you

International demand and expansion in local processing facilities has fuelled renewed competition between Australian processors for southern milk supply.

Scramble for precious water in WA

SOME 2200 megalitres of water might seem only a drop in the ocean for flood weary farmers in northern and eastern Australia but in the drought-stricken west every bit of a new allocation will be precious.

Progression plan a work in progress

Unfortunately, many families can't broach the topic of succession planning at the kitchen table, so it was refreshing to hear WA farmer Peter Evans discussing his family's approach in front of 200 people.

Floods bring New Year chaos to northern dairy industry

THE QUEENSLAND dairy industry is starting 2011 in chaos, swamped by New Year floods engulfing the State.The big wet which drenched Central Queensland in December moved to the southeast corner of the State with devastating impact in the second week of January.

PRIME MINISTER Julia Gillard is deliberately misleading Australians by claiming she wants to keep the Murray-Darling reform process on time, according to Coalition Murray-Darling Basin spokesman Senator Simon Birmingham.


MURRAY GOULBURN has taken up all of its rights in takeover target Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory’s (WCBF) $48 million entitlement offer.


THE HEAD of one of the world’s largest dairy cooperative wants the industry to do more to promote the goodness of dairy.

MURRAY GOULBURN has increased its prices by 35c/kg for protein and 14c/kg for butterfat – or $5.25/kg for milksolids – backdated to July 1.

ALTHOUGH AREAS of northern Victoria may remain under water for months, the amount of damage wreaked by the state’s floods is slowly being assessed.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.\nBasic HTML code is allowed.

» Get social

When butter and chocolate collide

TWO New Zealand companies Lewis Road Creamery and Whittakers have teamed up to deliver what must be every dairy lover’s dream: chocolate butter.

» E-Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required