Commenting on the Senate support for the Greens motion to stop billions of litres of water being diverted from the Murray Darling Basin to corporate irrigators, Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon said the current water crisis was being driven by the failed water privatisation push by the NSW Liberal-National government.
“The Senate decision puts the spotlight on the NSW government to stop looking after the mega-wealthy irrigators and bring the management of water back into public hands,” Senator Rhiannon said.
“If the NSW government persists with its threat to abandon the Murray Darling Basin Plan it will be further proof that the Liberal-Nationals are out to protect the massive profits of the corporate irrigators.
“The NSW government is a major cause of the undermining of the Murray Darling Basin Plan as it has stood by as irrigators have stolen water and allowed water compliance and enforcement to be rendered useless.
“The privatisation push of successive NSW governments has put the profit making interests of corporate irrigators before the needs of rural communities and the environment.
“The near collapse of the Murray Darling Basin Plan is the result of this failed neoliberal policy.
“The NSW privatisation of five major irrigation areas in southern NSW has been in place for more than 20 years.
“The institutional corruption and massive profits for a few corporate irrigators have become the norm under this failed privatisation system.
“A healthy river and floodplain system is critical for local and national economic reasons as well as for environmental needs, but this cannot be achieved while the Murray Darling Basin Plan is undermined by the privatisation policy of the NSW government,” Senator Rhiannon said.