Government has botched the Murray-Darling plan, Barnaby Joyce says
The Shadow Minister for Water, Senator Barnaby Joyce, today issued the following media release on the impact of the release of the Guide to the Basin Plan in October 2010:
The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald report today that house prices in vulnerable communities throughout the Basin have fallen by an average of 4.3 per cent since the release of the Guide to the Basin Plan in October 2010, and by well over 15 per cent in some towns.
“The biggest impact of a botched Basin Plan is on the economic and social fabric of towns and communities. There are no water buybacks for them, they are left behind”, said the Shadow Minister for Water, Senator Barnaby Joyce.
”Water is wealth and 2.1 million people in the basin are underpinned by the wealth of the Murray-Darling system. How would you feel if a decision made by government in Melbourne or Sydney brought about a 15 per cent reduction in the value of your house?
”These people are not irrigators, they’re people owning tyre shops or working behind counters in grocery stores.”
“The government has failed time and again to consider the impact of its botched buyback program on the person with the mortgage in the town or the person who has bought the local newsagent. If food production shuts down in these areas they are the ones left high and dry.
“In 2010, house prices in Murray-Darling towns rose by over 9 per cent, as rain brought more confidence to rural communities. The government deflated those hopes with its disastrous handling of the Guide and house prices have now slumped by over 4 per cent. The biggest impacts have been in the small towns such as Strathmerton, Berrigan, Finley and Hay who have all experienced house price falls of over 15 per cent.
“The draft Basin Plan fails to clearly explain how economic and social factors have been incorporated into its targets. Last year the government promised that it would scrap the Guide and deliver a triple bottom line but it has failed to demonstrate how it has achieved this.”
The towns included in the analysis were those the MDBA had identified as “likely to be especially vulnerable” in a leaked version of the draft Basin Plan last year. The final version removed reference to these towns.