National Farmers' Federation

Greens no-show slap in the face for Basin communities

The communities of the Murray Darling Basin have been let down (again) today, by the Greens, who failed to attend a Senate Estimates hearing on the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
NFF Water Taskforce Chair Les Gordon said the Party’s no-show proved the Greens viewed the Plan as nothing more than a political plaything with no regard for the environment, businesses or the communities that underpin the Plan.
“Early last month, the Greens lead by water spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young, threw a wrecking ball at the Murray Darling Basin Plan by successfully moving a disallowance motion against the Northern Basin Review amendments with a further threat of a disallowance motion on the SDL adjustment process of 605GL still in question.
“Today the contemptuous and destructive approach continued, with the Greens failing to take the opportunity to discuss the Party’s concerns with the Plan in the Cross Portfolio Murray Darling Plan Matters Senate Estimates hearing.
“It is an insult of the highest order for our Basin communities that after weeks of media grandstanding by Sarah Hanson-Young, a now silent Greens party appears not to have the willingness to actually talk through the issues.”
Mr Gordon said the Senate hearing was emblematic of the national importance of the Plan’s future.
“Senate Estimates provides the forum for Parliamentarians to discuss complex and highly-significant policy issues, away from the pressure cooker environment of the Chamber.
“Representatives of other sides of Parliament showed up ready to have such a discussion on the Plan’s future – where was the party that is so concerned about the Plan and was happy to torpedo it?”
Mr Gordon said following Senate support for the disallowance motion, Labor and the Government had committed to sitting down and working through the issues with the view of arriving at a mutually satisfactory position.
“However, the architect of the mess we find ourselves in today, the Australian Greens, are nowhere to be seen.
“The NFF is appealing to Greens Leader Senator Di Natalie to back up the grandstanding and actually participate constructively in the discussion.
“The Basin and its communities deserve more than this.”

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