The Weekly Advertiser

Ray Kingston calls for basin action

NEW MISSION: Former Yarriambiack Shire mayor Ray Kingston is looking forward to meeting new people as he travels the Mallee electorate.

Ray Kingston.

Independent candidate for the Federal seat of Mallee Ray Kingston has called for a Federal Royal Commission into the implementation of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
Mr Kingston, a former Yarriambiack Shire mayor, said he believed communities had lost faith in the plan and a Federal Royal Commission would prevent further damage to the basin and address concerns.
He said one of the ways forward in resolving issues was ensuring none of the 450 gigalitres proposed for the environment in the next phase of the plan should come from Mallee electorate irrigators.
“Both the current Liberal-National government and the former Labor government have let down basin communities, and Australia as a whole, in their implementation and oversight of the plan,” he said.
He said as a farmer, he understood the vital role water played in Australia, adding that sustainability of food security, the environment and regional economies were keys for a stable and prosperous nation. “Water is Australia’s most precious natural resource and it is imperative that we find a way forward to provide security for the future of regional communities, agriculture and the environment,” he said.
“River communities in the Mallee and the irrigation that underpins their economies are efficient and ethical users of water and have born their fair share of economic hardship caused by the implementation of the plan.
“I know they are not alone in this, but it is clear to me in representing these communities that they have suffered enough.”
Mr Kingston said river communities, journalists and the federal productivity commission’s recent report, had raised legitimate concerns about the implementation of the plan.
“These include undue political influence, a lack of transparency and consultation, questionable use of science, limited capacity to monitor and enforce physical restraints issues, compromised environmental implementations and in some cases overtly negative environmental outcomes, conflicts of interest within the authority’s roles and enormous damage to certain regional economies,” he said.
“Responses by political parties thus far have been transparently opportunistic and self-serving. A way forward must be found that removes any hint of political influence or opportunism.
“To help find a way forward, restore faith, and to prevent any further triple bottom line damage to the basin, I am calling for a Federal Royal Commission with sufficiently broad scope to get to the bottom of all of these concerns.”

The entire February 6, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Feb 6 2019

Posted by on Feb 6 2019. Filed under Agriculture, Environment, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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