Littleproud demands dams
Federal Water Minister David Littleproud has slammed state governments for not building dams.
With extended drought conditions continuing, some towns in New South Wales and Queensland are running out of drinking water.
Mr Littleproud says building dams is not a federal government responsibility, and states have done very little to help.
“The states are doing three-fifths of bugger all in terms of building infrastructure to supply urban water as well as agricultural water,” he told reporters in the South Australian town of Renmark.
"We have to hold them to account."
Of the 19 dams built since 2003, 16 have been in Tasmania.
Mr Littleproud says the eastern states need to do more.
“They've abrogated their responsibility on so many occasions,” he said.
“They use us as their ATM when they hit a problem but they don't deserve sometimes to have the responsibility they have.”
He said the federal government has billions on the table for states to invest in water infrastructure.
He had some slightly more positive words in regard to delivering the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
“The yelling and screaming has stopped,” Mr Littleproud said.
“If we all play nice, we lead rather than politicise, we can get this done.”
Mr Littleproud has toured the southern basin with interim Murray-Darling Basin inspector general Mick Keelty.