Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley says there will be ‘‘no action’’ to come from Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud’s shock announcement he would support the recovery of more productive water under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
Just days after being appointed to replace Barnaby Joyce in the portfolio, Mr Littleproud told Fairfax Media he is committed to supporting the Murray-Darling Basin Plan’s recommendations in full.
It included the amendment supporting the recovery of the extra 450 gigalitres to support environmental assets, even though legislation states this will not be recovered if there are adverse social and economic impacts on rural communities.
It is despite local irrigator and stakeholder groups fighting to make politicians understand the consequences of recovering the original 2750GL of productive water.
Ms Ley says while she cannot say why Mr Littleproud made the comments, she says it will have no bearing on policy which prevents the additional water being recovered without surety of no further impacts.
She also says she will fight any push to have the additional 450GL put into play.
‘‘Upsetting though the minister’s comments would have been, there has not been a change in policy,’’ Ms Ley said.
‘‘There are rules surrounding the introduction of this additional 450 gigalitres of water and it can only be delivered if there are no social or economic impacts.
‘‘I don’t believe it can be delivered without impacts, so it cannot be enacted — that is something all my colleagues need to understand.
‘‘I will not support any move that causes further pain,’’ Ms Ley said.