Independent Senator for Tasmania, Jacqui Lambie has agreed to support her fellow crossbench Senators in two of their calls relating to implementing the Murray – Darling Basin Plan, however she disagrees on their call to appoint Barnaby Joyce as Minister for water.
“The Shenhua mine crisis shows Barnaby Joyce, has failed to look after the interests of Australian farmers and the environment, including underground water - in his own electorate …how can you trust him to look after the interests of farmers and the environment/water for our whole nation, when he’s failed to do so in his own back yard?
I still stand by my call for Barnaby to resign – if his government allows this Chinese government owned Shenhua mine to go ahead. If he stops this Chinese state owned mine proposed for NSW’s Liverpool plains - in the middle of Australia’s best farming land - and he’s prepared to co-operate with me to create a National Prime Agricultural Land policy – then I may be prepared to give Barnaby a vote of confidence.
Research shows only 3.4% of Australia’s land mass is Prime Ag Land. It’s vital that we have a national policy to protect or best farming land. Barnaby Joyce is negligent and a traitor to the bush by failing to support my call for the protection of our best farming land, to be guaranteed in legislation.
Today, I’m happy to support my fellow cross benchers, in relation to asking the PM and his government to:
- Pause the implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, until the senate committee reports back on the social and economic costs of the Plan; and
- Review the Water Act 2007, to ensure that social and economic considerations carry equal weight to environmental concerns.
After a meeting this morning with AUS Veg I’ve also given a commitment to consult and work very closely with the Chairman of AUS Veg Geoff Moar about the development of future water policy for the JLN.” said Senator Lambie.