The Federal Labor Government must extend the June 2024 deadline for the Murray- Darling Basin Plan following comments made yesterday by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority chief executive Andrew McConville at the National Press Club.
In the address, Mr McConville made it clear that not all key projects can be delivered by June 2024.
NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said Mr McConville’s comments made the case as to why an extension to the June 2024 Murray-Darling Basin Plan deadline is needed.
“NSW Basin communities are facing some of the worst flooding on record,” Mr Toole said.
“These communities need our help and they need time to get back on their feet.
“The last thing these communities need to be doing right now is worrying about delivering more water and constructing SDLAM projects when they need to focus on reconstructing their roads, their homes and their lives.
“Without an extension, Labor is raising the prospect of non-strategic water buybacks across our community. This is something the NSW Liberals and Nationals in Government have fought against for the last decade and will continue to do so.”
Minister for Lands and Water Kevin Anderson said he remained ready to work with the Commonwealth to deliver the plan in a way that does not negatively impact NSW basin communities.
“Our Basin communities are hurting right now and our focus needs to be on supporting them not adding extra stress,” Mr Anderson said.
“NSW is calling for more time and flexibility and will be arguing strongly to represent the interest of regional communities in NSW. The challenge facing all Basin Governments is to find a way forward for delivering on commitments under the Plan in a way that is flexible, builds on the knowledge we’ve gained since the Plan was enacted, and responds to stakeholder and community concerns, including no non- strategic buybacks and no changes to socioeconomic criteria.”