Mark Coulton MP, Federal Member for Parkes

Coulton on Murray Darling Basin Plan

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Coulton on Murray Darling Basin Plan

Mark Coulton (Parkes, National Party)

I rise this morning to express my concerns as to the current state of play with the Murray Darling Basin plan. The electorate of Parkes encompasses 24 per cent of the Murray Darling Basin and indeed my constituents are heavily reliant on the health and viability of the river system. As we are getting to the final stages of negotiation, I am concerned that there are still some key elements that are missing from this proposal. One of them is a clear environmental watering plan. We are seeing the crazy situation recently in the Gwydir valley where thousands of acres of wheat and chickpeas were flooded by misguided environmental flows. In round figures the proposal is somewhere between 3,000 gigalitres and 4,000 gigalitres are to be removed from the basin. At the moment the federal water holder has 1,500 gigs and it appears that this year will not be able to use that amount. There is a clear lack of understanding of the complexity of the Murray Darling Basin system.

The other thing that is of concern is that there is a shared component that is to come from the northern basin. This share component can really only come from two rivers, and that is the Border and the Namoi. The others are all terminal streams that go into wetland and only on very rare occasions flow—indeed for the Lachlan it is once in 100 years that the Lachlan flows through to the Darling. I am terribly concerned about the cuts that may be coming towards the Namoi and Border Rivers, considering that these communities have been in water restructure mode now for the last 20 years. This Murray Darling Basin plan is not something of recent times. In many of the basins this is the fourth lot of reconstruction that we have seen with water users.

The great underlying fear of all this is that, if a plan does eventually become agreed upon and signed off, will it be enough? With the Green elements within our society we have seen with the forest agreements that there is a sign-off and then 18 months later another campaign starts and takes it further. And if you want to know what is underlying the fear and anger in the basin at the moment it is that they do not know if this will be enough. They have done all this before, they have been doing it for 20 years and the idea that something can be signed off and agreed upon and then stay in place for years to come would be a great relief to these people. They do not trust the Greens; they do not trust the close relationship that the government has with the Greens. The great concern is that when we come up to the next election, Green preferences in marginal urban electorates will overcome the real needs of the Murray Darling basin community.



Related Articles

Drought Continues  I would like to address the issue of drought. Many people will remember that the Prime Minister and the agriculture minister visited my electora...
Matter of Public Importance- Regional Australia  It is always interesting, in a debate on regional Australia, to follow the member for Perth, which is one of those far-flung regional centres th...
Men's Shed Barbecue  I would like to speak about something a little bit more pleasant! And that is about Men's Sheds and the important role that Men's Sheds play not...
Australia's Freight Rail Network- Question Without Notice  My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development. Will the Deputy Prime Minister outline wha...
Environment Protection an Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Bilateral Agreement Implementation) Bill 2014  I too rise to speak on the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Bilateral Agreement Implementation) Bill 2014. I migh...

I can help you with

Veterans Affairs
Immigration
Telecommunications
Aged Care
National Highway
Centrelink
Taxation
Trade
Medicare
Foreign Affairs
Aviation & Shipping
Higher Education
Child Support
Defence

Contact Mark

Twitter

SIGN UP FOR MY ENEWSLETTER

Enter your details below to receive updates on issues which affect the Parkes Electorate

Mark coulton MP, Federal Member for the ELECTORATE Of Parkes

DUBBO
ELECTORATE OFFICE

Unit 3/153 Brisbane Street
DUBBO NSW 2830
Phone: (02) 6882 0999
Fax: (02) 6882 9935
Email Mark

MOREE
ELECTORATE OFFICE

69 Heber Street
MOREE NSW 2400

Phone: (02) 6751 1251
Fax: (02) 6751 1253
Email Mark

Broken Hill Electorate Office

275 Argent Street
BROKEN HILL NSW 2880

Phone: (08) 8087 7649
Email Mark

Authorised by Mark Coulton 3/153 Brisbane St, Dubbo NSW 2830  |  Privacy Policy & Disclaimer  |  Accessibility Policy
Home  |  About  |  Electorate  |  Media  |  Contact  |  Site by Datasearch Web Design | Login