MP warns against basin water sell-off

Chrissy Authur, ABC TV News, 13/07/09

Western Queensland state MP Vaughan Johnson says it would be irresponsible and “sacrilege” to sell off water from the Great Artesian Basin.

The New South Wales Government is planning to auction water from the basin in Walgett, in northern NSW, later this month.

The basin underlies one-fifth of Australia and is a valuable water source for much of inland Queensland.

Mr Johnson says the basin is one of the nation’s most valuable water resources.

He says graziers in Queensland are working hard to preserve water and the Federal Government should intervene in the sale.

“The Federal Government has been hell-bent on locking down and shutting down a lot of the irrigation systems in NSW and ultimately looking at projects in Queensland and I say if they going to be fair dinkum now about a natural resource they should be intervening here and making absolutely sure that this is kept secure for the future,” he said.

“This is an absolute sacrilege. I’ve had a lot of upset people contact my office in relation to this and I’m sure that people right across NSW, South Australia and the Territory will be up in arms about this – as I am – and I want to know the ins and outs of it before the NSW Government is allowed to proceed down the line they’re taking.

“Here we are trying to preserve water inside that basin. We’ve seen the Murray-Darling situation be the topic of conversation and now we have a NSW Government embarking on a program that is lamebrained, that’s out of control, as far as I’m concerned, and irresponsible. This is an absolute sacrilege.”

Leave a Reply

No Comments »