Cropping

Not us, says Victorian government

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July 25, 2017

Murray-Darling Basin Plan will only work if all jurisdictions work within the rules, Acting Victorian Water Minister Martin Pakula said.

The Victorian Government has supported calls for an independent investigation into allegations aired on ABC's Four Corners last night that water from the Murray Darling Basin has been misappropriated.

The calls have come after NSW DPI deputy director of water Gavin Hanlon was recorded secretly offering to share government information with irrigation lobbyists, to help them to lobby against the water management plan.

The program also reported how billions of litres of water earmarked for the environment was being used to irrigate NSW cotton farms.

Victorian Acting Minister for Water Martin Pakula said the claims aired last night were "very concerning".

"Victoria supports an independent investigation into these allegations," he said.

"The Murray Basin Plan is about getting the best outcome for the environment, economy, farmers and communities - that can only happen if all jurisdictions work within the rules of the agreement."

Mr Pakula said the state government has previously called for greater transparency from around the outcomes achieved by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder and believes this should be provided alongside an independent review.

"Victoria expects all jurisdictions to manage within the agreed framework and we will work with other states to ensure the Basin Plan achieves positive outcomes for the environment, irrigators and communities," he said.

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