Media Release – Senator Barnaby Joyce, 22 March 2012:
Misleading in the Murray-Darling
The Australian Conservation Foundation today has put out incomplete analysis on the impact of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan on house prices in the Murray-Darling.
The ACF have released data from 2006 to 2010 even though this whole process only started going pear shaped when the Labor government released the flawed Guide to the Murray-Darling in late 2010.
In essence, the problem starts where their assessment finishes.
The Age reported earlier this year that house prices in 14 irrigation towns had experienced average falls in house prices of 4.2 per cent since the Guide was released. This is a much more relevant and up to date dataset.
The ACF even try to claim that the house price falls in the Basin are not that bad because house prices have fallen by more in Brisbane over the past year. I am not sure if they have turned on a TV for a while but the city’s biggest flood in 30 years may just have had something to do with that.
House prices should naturally increase with the development of an irrigation economy over time. People buy houses with money not with frogs.
Likewise, when you start closing parts of an economy, and take that money away, house prices will fall.
It is so infuriating to people who live in irrigation towns when others suggest that shutting down agricultural production won’t have a negative economic impact. That is like saying taking the finance industry away from Sydney won’t impact its economy or that if you stop eating you will stay the same weight.