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Murray-Darling Basin water tensions bubble over in the Senate as Nationals break from Liberals

Murray-Darling Basin water tensions bubble over in the Senate as Nationals break from Liberals

The Nationals possess split from their Liberal Coalition companions during a Senate vote, in a valorous transfer that will possibly perchance blow up the Murray-Darling Basin Opinion and be certain that much less water would be returned to the ambiance from farming.

Key points:

  • Nationals senators are seeking to alternate regulations their Decrease House colleagues introduced
  • The Senate explain has seen the Nationals break away from their Liberal Coalition companions
  • Labor and the Greens order the alternate is the outcomes of Barnaby Joyce’s management

Nationals senators deserted the occasion’s Cabinet ministers and Liberal colleagues, putting amendments to regulations that will possibly perchance successfully rewrite the Opinion and prevent the Commonwealth from buying water rights from irrigators.

Early Newspaper

The Murray-Darling Basin Opinion was legislated in 2012, with bipartisan reinforce across the Commonwealth and basin states, to draw more water for the ambiance.

Victorian senator Bridget McKenzie, who’s anticipated to be promoted to Cabinet by contemporary occasion leader Barnaby Joyce later this week, is leading the value in the Senate to alternate the Basin Opinion.

Sources possess instructed the ABC that Senator McKenzie wants the water portfolio as share of her promotion, something Labor senators possess sought to highlight in countering the Nationals’ push in the Greater House.

The Senate amendments describe to a bill to set an independent inspector-total of water compliance to video display the thought and present independent oversight.

The bill was overseen by Water Minister Keith Pitt, a Queensland Nationals MP who sits in the Decrease House. Nationals in the Decrease House backed the original regulations Mr Pitt delivered to the Parliament.

The ABC has contacted Mr Pitt to ogle if he supports his Senate colleagues’ proposed adjustments.

The Nationals senators proposed adjustments include:

•    That 450 gigalitres of water may possibly possibly perchance peaceful no longer be required by regulations to be returned to the ambiance

•    That the Commonwealth no longer be allowed to assist any further water rights from irrigators

Sarah Hanson-Young in Senate. June 23,  2021

Sarah Hanson-Younger took purpose at Barnaby Joyce for the proposed adjustments.(

ABC News: Matt Roberts


Opposing the amendments in the chamber, South Australian Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Younger acknowledged Mr Joyce had issued battle against her bid.

“The complete reason we would prefer an inspector-total and a cosmopolitan cop on the beat is as a consequence of of blokes treasure Barnaby Joyce,” Senator Hanson-Younger acknowledged.

“We possess the Nationwide Pick up together in the Senate moving amendments that win water out of the river system, from the ambiance, to give the spacious corporate irrigators and leave South Australia running dry.”

Labor’s Penny Wong, a South Australian senator, acknowledged the Nationals were an embarrassment for the Liberals and called on Mr Joyce to be certain that water policy was no longer share of the Coalition settlement.

“They fabricate no longer are looking to revive the basin to successfully being, they beautiful are looking to play to their constituencies the upstream irrigation communities, and they are looking to lie to them, and faux that things can even be as they were, but they can no longer…. we possess now to alternate,” Senator Wong acknowledged.

Senator Penny Wong. June 23, 2021

Penny Wong slammed the Nationals over their plans.(

ABC News: Matt Roberts


The ABC understands the Nationals had been planning to oppose the regulations earlier than Mr Joyce was elected as the occasion’s leader on Monday.

Earlier this week, the Nationals voted against their Coalition companions in the Senate when Labor put a stride that the Senate reinforce the beginning of the Murray Darling Basin Opinion in corpulent and on time.

Following that stride, Contemporary South Wales senator Perin Davey acknowledged the Nationals senators’ vote was “in reality a topic of annoyance”.

“That 450 gigalitres is dependent on a social and financial neutrality test, so we fabricate no longer imagine chances are high you’ll possibly be ready to ship it in corpulent and on time whereas you occur to apply that test as a consequence of the social and financial pain has been completed,” she acknowledged.

A meeting of bid and federal water ministers in December 2018 agreed that up 450 gigalitres would only be returned to the ambiance if it haven’t got a detrimental socio-financial influence on river communities, based on criteria agreed to by the states.

The debate continues.

Murray-Darling Basin water tensions bubble over in the Senate as Nationals break from Liberals