|Darling River in drought|
"The Senate is being asked to allow 605 billion litres of water to be ripped off the environment for the sake of untested water efficiency projects, despite a constant flow of reports that big corporate irrigators are stealing water from the river and getting away with it," Greens Murray Darling Basin spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
"The Government has consistently refused make details of these projects public. They've refused Senate orders to provide the business cases and how much each of the projects are worth in water.
"This is another case of the Water Minister asking us to trust the Government on this, but history shows us we're right to be sceptical. The Greens do not share the Murray Darling Basin Authority's confidence that these projects are up to scratch, and it is a gamble the Senate must not take.
"The Murray Darling Basin Plan is in tatters, thanks to water theft, meter tampering, and special treatment from the Nationals to their big corporate irrigator mates. River communities want the plan to work, but as long as environmental water is intentionally siphoned off into corporate tanks and dams, they can have little faith that our nation's food bowl is going to sustain us into the future.
"This week The Greens joined with crossbenchers calling again for an independent audit into the Murray Darling Basin Plan. Until we have certainty that the water taxpayers bought for the environment hasn't ended up in a big corporate irrigator's water stores and has gone to the river, we cannot allow major, permanent changes to the Plan.
"Labor must join with the Greens again when our disallowance motion comes up in the Senate next month."
Thursday, April 26, 2018
Coorong is dying while Government tries to sell water from environment allocation
Coorong is dying while Government tries to sell water from environment allocation.
The Government must drop its plans to rip 605 billion litres out of environmental water from the southern Murray Darling Basin and focus on restoring health to the river, the Australian Greens say following harrowing reports of the dying Coorong.
"$8 billion has been spent on the Murray Darling Basin Plan and the Coorong is dying. The Government needs to take the blinkers off, wake up and realise the entire Basin, and the river communities who rely on it, are at a tipping point," Greens Murray Darling Basin spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
"There are no jobs on a dead river, and a river dies from the mouth up. How the Government can continue to justify ripping 605 billion litres away from the southern basin is beyond me.
"The Government is trying to convince the senate that they can invest in water efficiency projects to offset ripping 605 billion litres of environmental water from the river. We've heard today that projects totalling 701 billion litres of environmental water have completely failed and sent the health of the river backwards.
"The Murray Darling Basin Authority tells us it will update its modelling to reflect climate change and it will do the work to find out how much water has been returned to the river - but when? The Senate is being asked to decide on significant, permanent changes to the plan in a fortnight.
"The Greens are more determined than ever to see our disallowance pass the Senate on May 8. There is no way we can allow reductions to flows while the river is dying."
Friday, April 27, 2018