The following is a statement from Member for Farrer, Sussan Ley, in response to the decision to return responsibility for Commonwealth water policy to the Agriculture Ministry. A statement by Agriculture Minister, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP can be found via this link.

“Returning water policy to the Agriculture portfolio sends a clear signal to our region that rural Australia knows how to handle this most precious resource.

Yes, we needed a stocktake after the millennium drought and a reassessment of what we can and can’t do, but under the Labor/Greens alliance we saw a massive overcorrection of priorities.

In just a couple of years Minister Hunt has done a very good job restoring the balance; reforming the National Water Commission, getting the 1500gl buy-back cap through, directing substantial funds for improving and building water infrastructure; bringing back confidence and common sense.

The outcomes of the Water ACT review are also not far away and I am very confident the legislation changes we’re making will produce the outcomes for the rivers, for our communities and for agriculture that we really need right now.”