Apr 3, 2024 | Media Releases, Media Releases 2024

The $58.8 million ‘special deal’ given to the ACT Labor-Greens Coalition Government to finally deliver on their commitment to the Murray Darling Basin Plan, needs further explanation and transparency.

Shadow Minister for Water and Emergency Management, Senator Perin Davey, said whilst she welcomed the news that the ACT would no longer be the basin laggard, the media release from the ACT and Federal Government was light on details and heavy on hypocrisy.

“For the ACT Green’s Water Minister to claim progress on the Basin Plan has been too slow, when he is personally responsible for the ACTs failure to return one drop of water to date, is about as hypocritical as it comes.

“There is no detail on what this money will be spent on, other than to transfer 4.9 gigalitres to the Commonwealth – at a value of $12,000 per megalitre.

Senator Davey pointed out the ACT was previously given $85m in Murray Darling Basin infrastructure funding and had not returned one drop.

“Add it all up and the ACT government has received $143.8 million, which works out to be almost $30,000 per megalitre returned to the Commonwealth.

“At the very least the Government should be able to tell Australians what the ACT government is obliged to do for the $58mil; are the water licences new or coming from Canberra’s urban licence; will there be an impact on other water holders; and when will the transfer occur?

Senator Davey concluded by saying the Albanese Government needs to stop treating Australians like mushrooms and start to answer key questions.