NSW Murray Darling water theft: Authorities must urgently act

MEDIA RELEASE
24 July 2017

NSW Murray Darling water theft: Authorities must urgently act

Tonight's ABC 4 Corners has raised serious allegations of NSW irrigators and water bureaucrats undermining the Murray Darling Basin Project.

 Authorities must act quickly to save the integrity of the Plan and restore the public’s confidence.

 “Every litre paid for by taxpayers to aid the River’s long term health that ends up stolen by upstream irrigators is an attack on the Murray Darling Basin Plan and a direct hit on SA,” said Craig Wilkins, Chief Executive of the state’s peak environment body, Conservation  SA.

“This is crunch time for the Plan.  A dead River benefits no-one. 

“The next six months will determine whether the Murray system will be given a decent shot at survival , or whether we are witnessing hyper expensive window dressing on a fundamentally unsustainable irrigation industry.

“Tonight’s Four Corners episode will appall many. 

“The sight of mega dams bulging with water to service a tiny number of rich irrigators while downstream the River withers is deeply distressing.

“Equally appalling is the revelation that senior NSW bureaucrats have been working with irrigator lobbyists to undermine the Plan’s integrity.

“South Australia has the most to lose if the Murray Darling Basin Plan goes pear shaped.

“It is vital the Plan is delivered in full and on time.  That includes the 450GL currently under negotiation to take the full environmental flows up to 3200GL. 

“It’s essential an urgent inquiry is held to restore the public’s trust in this vital nation building program,” he said.

For further comment: Craig Wilkins 0417 879 439

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Contact Conservation SA on (08) 8223 5155, general@conservationsa.org.au, or at our offices at the Joinery at 111 Franklin Street, Adelaide.

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