22 November 2017
Basin in Crisis: Turnbull must act
The Prime Minister must urgently step in to restore confidence in the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
“The Plan - our great hope to restore the River to health - is at crisis point,” says Craig Wilkins, Chief Executive of Conservation SA, the state’s peak environment body.
“A series of damning reports in recent weeks points to water rorting and theft in NSW and Queensland, and a culture of cover-up and corruption.
“Yet the Federal Government is refusing to act to clear these damning allegations. How can South Australians trust the Plan when the stench of dodgy behaviour is so strong?
“It’s time for a Royal Commission to restore confidence,” said Mr Wilkins.
Meanwhile, a showdown in Federal Parliament is emerging over proposed adjustments to the Plan that will reduce environmental flows even further.
“It’s increasingly clear the 3,200GL of environmental flows the South Australian people were promised when the Plan was first negotiated will not be delivered. Instead, we are seeing a slow but systematic death by a thousand cuts that is fatally compromising the Plan’s original objective: to restore the River system to long term health.
“The claim that the Basin Plan will be delivered ‘in full’ is becoming increasingly hollow as the goalposts keep shifting.
“And it is ridiculous to consider watering down the Plan even further before a judicial inquiry gets to the bottom of the dodgy behaviour by upstream irrigators.
“We call on all South Australian Federal Parliamentarians to stand up for our state’s lifeblood and reject any reductions in environmental flows until a Royal Commission into the Murray Darling Basin Plan is announced,” he said.
Media Contact: Craig Wilkins 0417 879 439