Tony “Waterboy” Windsor Lies About Water Buybacks

25 Jun

Media Release – Senator Barnaby Joyce, 23 July 2011:

Windsor Misleads Basin Residents

Tony Windsor today claimed that “Water buybacks have been minimised by the Government” in response to the House of Representatives Regional Australia Committee Inquiry into the impact of the Guide to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

This is an out and out distortion.

The Government is not in any way “minimising” water buybacks. What the Prime Minister actually said in response to Tony Windsor’s question last Wednesday was that:

The government’s response to the interim findings was to act on a number of issues to which the committee drew attention — for example … introducing smaller rolling tenders for water buyback to allow a more modest presence in the water market.”

This will not reduce the money spent on water buybacks nor the amount that is spent over time. It simply means that each tender will be smaller and will be conducted on a rolling or ongoing basis.

The Regional Australia Committee actually recommended that “the Commonwealth Government immediately cease all non-strategic water purchase in the Murray-Darling Basin and take a strategic approach to water purchases that prioritises the lowest possible impact in communities.”

Only three days after Windsor’s committee reported, the government opened another water buyback round on 6 June 2011. Tony Burke, the Minister for Water, told the Adelaide Advertiser in a story titled “Windsor river buyback ignored” that:

“We cannot have reform without buyback,” Mr Burke said. “There are tenders that have already been advertised that are open (today). They will open (today).

“We support buyback.”

The Coalition, however, announced last August, ahead of the 2010 election, that it would take steps to make the water buyback program more strategic.

The Coalition will approach water buybacks in a more strategic way. It will consult more closely with irrigators and local communities to establish the true costs of removing irrigated farming in different areas and the impact of restrictions on land use imposed as a result of buybacks or exit grants.

The Coalition remains committed to make water buybacks more strategic. All Mr Windsor has to do to get a better outcome for the Murray-Darling Basin is to support a Coalition government.

Windsor, T. 2011, ‘Murray-Darling Inquiry sparks government action to support irrigators’, Media Release, 23 June 2011, http://www.tonywindsor.com.au/releases/110623.pdf

House of Representatives Hansard 2011, 15 June, p. 49, http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/reps/dailys/dr150611.pdf

House of Representatives Standing Committee on Regional Australia 2011, Of drought and flooding rains, May, Canberra, p. xx, http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/ra/murraydarling/report/fullreport.pdf.

Adelaide Advertiser 2011, ‘ Windsor river buyback ignored’, 5 June, http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/windsor-river-buyback-ignored/story-e6frea6u-1226069710576

Coalition Election Policy 2010, The Coalition’s plan for real action on the Murray-Darling Basin’, http://www.nationals.org.au/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=EGmylhxd0XY%3d&tabid=61

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One Response to “Tony “Waterboy” Windsor Lies About Water Buybacks”

  1. Phil Hingston June 28, 2011 at 7:16 am #

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    Phil Hingston

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