Are the Nationals fit to hold the water portfolio
The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (14:45): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question on the topic of the basin plan to the minister representing the Minister for Environment and Water.
The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: Earlier today, we have seen the Nationals’ talking points about the amendments that they want for the Murray-Darling Basin Plan come to light, including the lines:
The Science no longer supports SA needing fresh water.
Rising sea levels will mean the SA Lower Lakes system will not need environmental water…
Other wacky headings include, ‘Remove the 450 gigalitres’ and ‘Remove water buybacks’. My question to the minister representing the minister is:
1. How can the National Party remain in charge of water policy in their federal Coalition when they have talking points that not only are a nonsense, they are downright dangerous to our state?
2. Will the Marshall government call for the removal of the National Party from water policy at a federal level?
The PRESIDENT: I will allow the minister to answer, but a lot of that is obviously out of the jurisdiction of this minister or the one she represents. I will call the Minister for Human Services.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (14:46): On behalf of the honourable minister in another place, who has clearly made comments, as have all parties representing South Australia at a federal level—have expressed our concern about the federal Nationals’ comments or potential policy direction in relation to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
Those of us who are at the end of the river system have fought hard for reform to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. The South Australian government remains committed to it. I am not sure whether it is within—I will leave the comments in relation to the federal agreements for the minister himself to bring back some remarks on. I’m not sure whether that’s something that he is able to comment on, but I certainly can reiterate that the Marshall Liberal government remains committed to implementing the basin plan in full.