Political fix is disappointing

DECISIONS regarding the future management of water in the Murray-Darling Basin were never going to be easy and were never going to please everyone.

Many of the stakeholders are aggrieved by the announcement by Prime Minister Julia Gillard to provide 3200 gigalitres - an additional 450 gigalitres - for environmental purposes.

The Prime Minister is playing politics, ingratiating herself on a visit to South Australia and blind-siding the other basin state with a decision that heightens Victoria's concerns about the impact of extra water in the system on flooding and the detriment to irrigated food production.

A group of southern New South Wales municipalities have a point, accused Ms Gillard of destroying stakeholders' confidence in the process that has been underway for more than two years.

Ms Gillard has ignored the advice of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, which stated it would not change its recommendation for water recovery of 2750 gigalitres because the impact of relaxing constrains on homes, farms and infrastructure, plus the socio-economic impacts have not been assessed.

Communities along the basin fear more chances of flooding and the destruction of food production in what is supposed to be the nation's food bowl.

This expedient political fix does little for the poor standing of our Federal political leaders.