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Barnaby Joyce calling for the drought to be treated like a ‘national emergency’

Days after assuming his new role as special drought envoy, Barnaby Joyce is calling for the drought to be treated like a bushfire emergency.

He’s proposing to divert environmental water from the Murray-Darling river system to help grow fodder for struggling farmers.

“We’ve got some common sense in government, at last,” says Alan Jones.

The former deputy leader tells Alan treating the crisis like a fire would allow for resources to be taken without seeking permission.

“Let’s first of all acknowledge this is a national crisis. It is a 100-year drought.

“In a national crisis, if it’s a bushfire they don’t say, ‘Oh look do you mind if I borrow your bulldozer?’ or ‘Do you mind if I cut that fence? I want to go through’. They just do it. That’s what happens in a national emergency.

“We have a national emergency with the drought.

“The Commonwealth has a huge resource of water, they own every huge resource of water.”

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The Australian Conservation Foundation says the plan is likely to inflict further harm on river communities.