CANBERRA, AAP – Federal Labor has pledged to restore 450 gigalitres of water to the Murray Darling Basin plan to ensure South Australia gets a fair share under the scheme.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese also promised to establish a national water commission, should the party win office at the next election, with $26 million set aside as part of reform in the sector.
The commission was abolished by former prime minister Tony Abbott in 2014.
Speaking to reporters in Adelaide on Friday, Mr Albanese said the changes would see the Murray Darling plan upheld for stakeholders.
“There is a national interest here, all of the states and territories came together to sign off,” he said.
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“It will be my job to see that the national plans, cooperatively with the states and territories, actually deliver what those plans say they will.”
Mr Albanese said just two gigalitres had been returned to the Murray under the plan, which had failed stakeholders who depend on the river system
The opposition leader’s plan for the river system would see that recommendations put forward by the consumer watchdog be enacted, while also increasing Indigenous ownership of water entitlements and decision making.
Also during his visit to Adelaide, Mr Albanese pledged $5 million for the Maggie Beer Foundation to help improve meals for those in aged care.
Mr Albanese appeared alongside the cooking star to announce the promise to raise the standard of food in the aged care sector.
It was part of the $2.5 billion plan outlined in his budget reply speech to implement reform to aged care.
“These standards will be supported by workable guidelines, education programs and easy compliance which will not burden aged care providers with time consuming administrative functions,” Mr Albanese said.
The $5 million for the foundation would help develop new standards and education tools.