Water

SA to investigate water theft allegations

by
December 01, 2017

A royal commission into allegations of widespread water theft from the Murray- Darling Basin is set to begin in South Australia next year.

A royal commission into allegations of widespread water theft from the Murray- Darling Basin is set to begin in South Australia next year.

South Australia has also announced it will not support any changes to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan until its integrity can be assured.

But the Victorian Government and a number of water industry commentators have cast doubt on how effective a state-based royal commission will be.

South Australian Water Minister Ian Hunter said South Australians had lost all confidence in Mr Turnbull’s ability to deliver the Murray-Darling Basin Plan on time and in full.

‘‘South Australia calls on all federal members of parliament to stand up for the River Murray and vote in support of a disallowance motion to block moves by the Commonwealth Government to make any amendments to the basin plan.

‘‘We don’t want the chaos and crisis engulfing the Commonwealth Government to filter into the basin plan.’’

Mr Hunter and the Federal Government have a history of locking horns over the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, with tensions boiling over last year after Mr Hunter directed expletive-riddled criticism at then Water Minister Barnaby Joyce over the plan.

Last week Mr Hunter slammed the decision by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to cancel a ‘‘crucial’’ Ministerial Council meeting which was due to take place on November 27, and called on federal parliament to not support the sustainable diversion limit adjustment package that would see 605Gl returned to basin communities.

The 36 proposed projects require parliamentary approval in order to be implemented.

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