Moving Targets – Barnaby Joyce, Warrego valley buybacks and amendments to the Murray Darling Basin Plan
The Minister for Water, Barnaby Joyce approved the $17m purchase of water in the Warrego valley after criticising the Labor government for the same thing, but at less than half the price. This was a deal that required amendments to the Basin Plan to later adjust Basin Plan limits between valleys, outside the parliamentary process.
A new report by The Australia Institute has found Barnaby Joyce’s $17m Warrego valley buyback deal required amendments to the Murray Darling Basin Plan which were rejected by the Senate.
The Deputy Prime Minister and previous Minister for Water approved the $17m purchase of water in the Warrego valley despite railing against the previous Labor government’s Warrego buyback at less than half the price Joyce paid.
The situation now is that the Commonwealth has paid $17 million dollars for water where it is not needed. Joyce’s purchase attempted to reduce water recovery in another valley but the disallowance put an end to this ‘swap’.