Nov 8, 2023 | Media Releases, Media Releases 2023

The Labor Government has accused their own colleagues in the Victorian Government of relying on “nonsense” economic modelling while refusing to release any modelling they have relating to proposed water recovery in the Murray-Darling Basin.

In an extraordinary interview with ABC’s 7.30 last night, the Environment and Water Minister Tanya Plibersek said economic modelling relied upon by the Victorian Government showing the economic impact of water buybacks was “dodgy” and claimed it had been completely discredited, but Shadow Water Minister Senator Perin Davey said it was better than nothing, which is what they are seeing from the Federal Government.

“We have been calling on the Labor Government to release their modelling to show us the numbers they are relying on, but there is nothing coming back,” Senator Davey said.

“We have report after report that shows there is a negative social and economic impact from buybacks, from the Productivity Commission to the independent Sefton review panel to Frontier Economics, Aither and many more, yet this Government just brushes all that to one side and says they are all wrong.”

Minister Plibersek went further in her interview to say, “It is extraordinary that we’ve got a Labor Government using dodgy modelling to join up with Barnaby Joyce and David Littleproud.”

“What is extraordinary is that we have a Labor Federal Minister so blatantly discrediting State Government commissioned economic modelling because they don’t like what it says,” Senator Davey said.

“The Victorian modelling estimates that if 100GL of water is taken out of Victorian production, around 460 jobs will be lost and the economic hit will be around $140 million – that reflects what the Senate Environment Committee was told by Local Government representatives, the processing sector, and others during a round of recent hearings.

“If the modelling is so inaccurate, the Government needs to immediately release their evidence to the contrary.”