If elected, a Shorten Labor Government will establish a Commission of Inquiry into the purchase of certain water entitlements from Eastern Australia Agriculture Pty Ltd, under the Royal Commissions Act 1902.
The Commission of Inquiry will investigate all of the circumstances relating to the purchase of water entitlements from Eastern Australia Agriculture Pty Ltd in 2017 under then Minister for Water Resources Barnaby Joyce from the ‘Kia Ora’ and ‘Clyde’ properties.
This Inquiry would be established under the Royal Commissions Act 1902 and have the same powers as a Royal Commission.
If elected, Labor will consult on the full terms of reference and an appropriate commissioner.
Labor has not received a satisfactory response to the many questions we have asked of the Morrison Government about purchases made during Barnaby Joyce’s time as minister.
Scott Morrison is desperately trying to cover up the Liberals and Nationals’ chaos and incompetence.
Only a Commission of Inquiry, with coercive powers, can properly investigate this matter.
This commitment is in addition to Labor’s response to the four inquiries that have recently been undertaken in to the Murray-Darling Basin. The four reports are:
- The South Australian Murray-Darling Royal Commission
- The Productivity Commission review of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan
- The report by the Australian Academy of Science into the fish kills
- The Independent Assessment of the 2018-19 fish deaths in the lower Darling
Labor wants to see the Basin Plan get back on track and we have committed to:
- Lifting the 1,500GL cap on buybacks
- Restoring the original socio-economic definition for delivering the 450GL of additional water for the environment to the system
- Restoring the integrity of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority by moving its compliance functions to the Environmental Protection Agency and ordering a formal review of claims public servants acted unlawfully
- Urgently reviewing climate change impacts on the Basin now and into the future to determine any change in inflows and evaporation rates; and
- Urgently renegotiating the Menindee Agreement which determines how the lakes are managed and is now decades out of date