Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Committee

10th May 2017- Mr O'Sullivan- I would like to quickly wrap up the debate on this motion. I thank everyone for the contributions that they have made in relation to it. I just want to quickly pick up some the points that Mr Barber made. It seems to me that Mr Barber was just driven by the Greens ideology in terms of his contribution on this motion rather than the type of commonsense approach that I like to bring to my deliberations in this place. I made it clear right from the start that I would look for practical outcomes in this place rather than blindly following ideology. Mr Barber's contribution clearly shows why the Greens are only an inner-city party. They do not understand what happens out in country Victoria, and from Mr Barber's contribution today, I do not think they ever will.

In terms of what Mr Barber said in relation to the Murray-Darling Basin plan and the way it was when it was first established, that would have absolutely decimated regional communities, so there is no way that that could have ever come to fruition. Essentially what we are trying to do through this motion is see if we can get the experts to come in and give us some evidence in relation to this matter and see if we can come up with some recommendations that would allow the water industry to be even more effective in terms of dealing with issues such as blackwater. I am not sure what the Greens fear about that, because by doing that we might be able to drive better environmental outcomes for the fish and so forth that live in the rivers, particularly up in the north. We might be able to find a way of adding better value to what we have already got. So I am quite surprised that Mr Barber has come at it from the direction he has. It again shows how the Greens are such an inner-city-driven party.

What we are trying to do is come up with some ideas that we might be able to implement that could assist with the ecology of the Murray River, of other rivers in Northern Victoria and of rivers in other parts of the state where this may be relevant — ideas for trying to minimise the blackwater events that do occur from time to time. As a result of that we might be able to come up with some recommendations to protect the iconic Murray cod up in that part of the world, plus all the other animals that rely on the ecology that relies on the Murray River.

In terms of that, I would like to close the debate. I commend the motion to the house.

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