The Conservation Council of South Australia has deep concerns about the revised draft of Murray Darling Basin Plan, released today.
Conservation Council CE Tim Kelly said: 'There has been no increase in the amount of water to be returned to the river system, even though numerous scientific analyses have agreed that 2750 GL will not be able to restore the system to health.'
'As for what amount would actually do this, that is a question that we still don't actually have the answer to.
'It is pretty hard to swallow that after literally years developing this plan, the Murray Darling Basin Authority has not produced the single most critical piece of information we need - and this is because it has consistently refused to model higher water return scenarios until it finds the one that will work.
'While there has been some positive movement in what appears to be a significant reduction in the proposed increases to groundwater extraction, this is small consolation, as those increases never should have been proposed in the first place.
'We are still left with a plan that does not take any account of climate change, still proposes to increase groundwater extraction against scientific advice, and does not return enough water to restore critical ecosystems.
'The Authority seems to think Australians will be willing to see $9 billion of their taxpayer dollars go towards a plan that we know from the outset will fail to achieve its own objectives.
'Australians are smarter than that. They know we need to fix up the Murray-Darling and we cannot do that by continuing to deprive it of the very thing that defines a river: water', concluded Mr Kelly.
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