The National Irrigators Council (NIC) says it looks forward to working with a new Shadow Minister for Water as Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese announces his Shadow Ministry.

CEO Steve Whan said “after a very long engagement with the Murray Darling Basin Plan, former Minister and Shadow Minister, Tony Burke, has moved on to a new portfolio. 

“We acknowledge the long-term engagement Tony Burke has had with the Murray Darling and thank him for his work.  Tony was the Minister who introduced the Basin Plan back in 2012 and has provided consistent commitment over the years since as Minister and Shadow Minister.

“While it hasn’t been easy, and we haven’t always agreed, Tony Burke has maintained a bipartisan commitment to the Plan, and we would hope to see that continue.

“NIC congratulates new Shadow Minister for Water and Environment, Terri Butler MP, we look forward to working with her.

“Australia’s irrigation farmers are among the world’s most efficient and sustainable, growing more than 84% of the fruit and vegetables Ms Butler’s constituents in Southern Brisbane eat, along with dairy products, sugar, cotton, rice, nuts and wine.

“We also look forward to continuing to work on the challenge of high energy prices with the Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy, the Hon Mark Butler MP and with Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Resources, the Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP.

“In 2016-17 irrigators product was worth more than $15 billion to the Australian economy, that’s billions in export earnings, fresh food for Australians and jobs for tens of thousands in regional communities. 

“Right now, many of these farmers are doing it very tough with eastern Australia experiencing one of its worst droughts.

“We look forward to the contribution of these hard-working farmers continuing to be recognised by the Anthony Albanese led opposition and, in the Murray Darling Basin, continuing to work toward an outcome with produces healthy rivers, healthy communities and a continuing capacity to produce food and fibre for Australia.”

Media Contact:  Steve Whan 0429 780 883
Monday 3 June 2019