MDBA leak a disgrace: McCormack

Nationals’ Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack is not surprised the entire Murray-Darling Basin draft plan has been leaked to the media.

“The fact Murray-Darling Basin Authority chairman Craig Knowles is blaming environmentalists for spilling the information early just says it all,” Mr McCormack said.

“How did environmentalists have access to the full contents of the draft in the first place?

“This has been a stitch-up from the start.

“Irrigation farmers have always been put last in this whole debate by the Authority and by the Labor Government.”

Recommendations of a further 2800 gigalitres of productive water to be returned to the environment have been revealed by the ABC’s Lateline program before the scheduled 28 November release of the draft.

“This is unacceptable on both counts,” Mr McCormack said.

“It is shameful the environmentalists had access to the information and then disclosed it. How could you ever trust them?

“It is also a national disgrace that so much water will be taken out of the system at a time when food demand is growing.

“When we are a net importer of food only then will this Labor Government be satisfied.

“This is not a draft based on good science – there is no justification for this amount of water being stripped from family farms.”

Cristy Houghton