A warning has been given to the Federal Government to support SA's Royal Commission into the Murray Darling Basin or face tough cross bench negotiations.
Senator Rex Patrick and his colleagues including Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie say the commission has been foul snookered after the Government's High Court challenge to stop evidence being given by any current or former public servants was set for October, but the SA Attorney General has told the commissioner he will still have to produce his results in the time frame set despite not having access to those witnesses while before the court.
The Royal Commissioner has advised the SA Government that he could make a useful report, but he would “much prefer to obtain the benefit of the material and evidence sought by the summons”. He has also stated “That material and evidence, I stress, is regarded by me as highly desirable to be considered by my Commission, in the interest of everyone, including South Australia and South Australians affected by the Basin Plan
Ms Sharkie says it seems the Federal Government and the state Liberal Governments don't' want to hear what the commissioner might have to say.
“There have been serious allegations raised at the Royal Commission suggesting that the 2750 GL sustainable diversion limit was, in contrast to the law, a made up number. The law required the MDBA to have an ‘environmentally sustainable level of take’, yet it appears they were directed to come up with a number starting with ‘2’.”
“The Commission needs to investigate whether officials have broken the law in the design of the $13 billion plan,” said Rebekha.
Image: Claire Murphy