NFF joins calls for Basin Inspector-General to get his powers

03 December 2019

The National Farmers’ Federation has joined calls for the Morrison Government’s Murray Darling Basin Inspector-General to be given statutory powers.
Addressing farmers today, NFF CEO Tony Mahar said:
Right now, this morning, what we’ve agreed to is to make sure that Mick Keelty has the powers to take action where it’s needed. And we all know that there is action needed. And we all know that there’s steps that need to be taken.
Mick Keelty is the Inspector-General of the Basin - is the person - we want him appointed and we want him to have the appropriate powers. He’s the most appropriate person to make the changes. And the NFF is committed to making that happen.
This is another call for the Morrison Government to take action to provide Inspector-General Mick Keelty with the statutory powers that were promised months ago.
The Inspector-General, announced on 1 August, still has no statutory powers, and no timetable to get statutory powers, despite the government claiming the announcement had been in train for months before being made.
Communities are pleased that eminent Australian Mick Keelty AO APM has taken up the role. Now he deserves the powers he needs to get to the bottom of concerns across the Basin.
The Morrison Government’s failure to empower the Murray Darling Basin Inspector-General, a role they said would be a ‘tough cop on the beat’, once again shows they have a political strategy, but not a plan for action on integrity and transparency.
The Federal Water Minister must now release a concrete timetable for an exposure draft bill so Australians can assess how long it will take for the Inspector-General to be empowered to perform this vital role.