Murray-Darling Basin Bill

28 Oct 2008 archivespeech

This speech is to indicate support for the Murray-Darling Basin Bill.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (17:40): I rise to speak to this bill very briefly, as it is consequential to the Water (Commonwealth Powers) Bill, and we have been listening to second reading contributions on that bill for the past couple of hours.

I note that the machinery of this bill is to transfer the governance matters from the Murray-Darling Basin Commission to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority; the state jurisdictions will have the power to appoint a person to the basin officials committee, a committee established under the commonwealth act; and also for the states to continue to have a role as contracting governments to undertake works and to acquire and dispose of land, and other things.

I also want to comment on some of the remarks made by the enlightened and sincere backbencher, the Hon. Russell Wortley, who decided to take a shot at one of the potential Liberal candidates, who will be standing for the seat of Chaffey. I thought the Hon. Mr Wortley's remarks were a little unfair, but he also played into the hands of the Liberal opposition in that we have been saying for some time that the member for Chaffey is not, in fact, a National Independent but a de facto member of the Labor Party.

So, the Hon. Russell Wortley, who frequently plays the role of providing the voice and the message of what the Labor Party wants to convey to the community, has fallen well and truly into our hands and confirmed what we already know, that is, the current member for Chaffey is, in fact, a de facto member of the Labor Party. With those remarks, I indicate my support for the bill.

Debate adjourned on motion of Hon. J.S.L. Dawkins.