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Billboards urge SA politicians to stand up for the Murray

Environment groups today launch a campaign calling on South Australia's federal MPs to represent the interests of their constituents by speaking up for the health of the Murray.

For the next month big billboards with the message ‘No future on a dead river: SA needs a healthy Murray' will be on display at prominent locations within the electorates of federal MPs Kate Ellis and Christopher Pyne. A letterboxing campaign will follow.

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DRAFT BASIN PLAN MANIPULATES SCIENCE

The Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists has completely rejected the draft Basin Plan because it lacks the basic information required to manage the Murray-Darling, and in some places is actively misleading.

"The scientists cite changing baselines, data omissions and unexplained increases to groundwater allocations as some examples of how the draft Basin Plan is inadequate or misleading. Their take home message is that the current draft Plan will use $9 billion of Australian taxpayers funds and fail to deliver the Authority's own environmental targets for the river", said Tim Kelly, CE of the Conservation Council SA.

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Commitments to tackling climate change being abandoned

The State Government as part of its Mid Year Budget Review has just erased the State's Renewable Energy Fund to save $11.7 million and plans a further reduction in support of $1.5 million for its Sustainability and Climate Change Division.

The winding back of State Government climate change commitments appears to be based on misguided thinking that because a national carbon pricing scheme will commence next year that "the need to support individual projects will be diminished". This is entirely the wrong approach which undermines South Australia's role in transitioning to a low carbon economy.

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Environmental Groups Note Shared Concerns on Murray-Darling Basin Plan

In South Australia common ground regarding the Murray-Darling Basin Plan was found at a meeting convened by the State Government of experts and members of a number of groups with an interest in the health of the river.

At the invitation of the Premier of South Australia, the Hon Jay Weatherill, MP, irrigators, farmers, scientists, politicians and environmental groups addressed legal options, the science underlying the Draft Plan and 'high level principles' that might inform their future deliberations.

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Scientists raise alarm on Basin Plan

The scientists who conducted a review of the methodology used by the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) have confirmed fears that the proposed Basin Plan will not meet specified environmental objectives.

The review, which has been prepared by the CSIRO and published on the MDBA website, says that:

  • The modelled scenario of 2800GL SDLs does “not achieve the majority of the hydrologic targets”, and is not consistent with the currently stated environmental goals
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