Senate crossbenchers have called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to pause the Murray-Darling Basin Plan until the social and economic consequences of its implementation are assessed.
They also want the Prime Minister to appoint Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce as minister for water, without delay.
The ABC understands Mr Turnbull and his cabinet secretary Arthur Sinodinos will meet with Mr Joyce this afternoon, to resolve who’ll have ministerial responsibility for water.
Victorian Senator John Madigan said the Murray-Darling Basin is “in crisis” because of the economic and social impacts of removing water from agricultural production under the Basin Plan.
“That crisis affects our families in the Murray-Darling Basin, our communities, our small businesses,” Senator Madigan said.
“We’re here today because of the effects of this so-called plan that is not balanced between social and economic outcomes, but only is tilted towards the environment.