30 November 2019
Time for cool heads, not posturing over Murray
South Australia’s peak environment body has strongly backed SA Environment Minister David Speirs as he rejects the call to remove barrages at the lower end of the Murray.
“The Murray Darling Basin Plan remains the best shot for keeping the River alive as we struggle with declining rainfall across the Basin,” said Craig Wilkins, Chief Executive of Conservation SA.
“It is deeply disappointing that hotheads from NSW are threatening to blow up the Plan. When SA was suffering far more than NSW during the Millennium Drought, we stuck at it, and so should they.
“We were the first state to put a voluntary cap on water entitlements, and have always been ahead of the game when it comes to efficiency and compliance.
“South Australia only receives 7% of the river flow, and we have 7% of the population in the Basin.
“Destroying the lower end of the River by reducing the 7% of flows even further is not the solution to NSW woes.
“There is no doubt NSW and other parts of the Murray Darling Basin are doing it tough at the moment, and that’s heartbreaking for River communities, irrigators and the wetlands, birdlife and other nature who all rely on a healthy River.
“The only viable, long term solution to restoring the River to health is to reduce the amount we take out.
“For NSW to withdraw from the Plan, and keep on using irrigated water at the same rate has only one outcome: catastrophe. No amount of dummy spitting will change that fact.
“This year’s devastating fish kills along the Darling are a taste of what will come unless we get real about what the River needs to stay healthy,” he said.
For further comment: Craig Wilkins 0417 879 439