22 November 2016
Murray Threat Rears Up
Conservation SA is appalled by today's announcement by the Murray Darling Basin Authority that it intends to reduce the amount of water to be recovered in the Northern Basin by 70GL.
This follows last week's letter from Barnaby Joyce to SA Water Minister Ian Hunter stating that the additional 450GL agreed to previously by all states, territories and the Commonwealth to achieve a 3200GL target for the full delivery of the Murray Darling Basin Plan would not be possible.
Chief Executive Craig Wilkins said, "This announcement today by the Murray Darling Basin Authority is not in the interest of the long term health of our most important river system and the communities that rely on it.
"On top of the move last week by Federal Minister Barnaby Joyce, it is clear the full delivery of the Basin Plan, and the $15 billion investment underway to help ensure the health of the Murray, is under real threat.
"There is no scientific basis for this decision. The science has clearly determined that internationally significant Ramsar-listed wetlands in the northern Basin need all of that water to be recovered.
"The science hasn't changed, but clearly the politics have. We now have the federal water portfolio in the hands of a man whose primary interest appears to be supporting the industries that have taken more than their share for too long.
"The Basin Plan was a hard fought compromise between different water users that was decades in the making. No one got exactly what they wanted but it was a huge step forward for the health of the river.
"South Australians who rely on the Murray are the ones at greatest risk if the Basin Plan fails to achieve its targets.
"We clearly have no choice but to gear up for another fight to see a fair share of flows come all the way down the river," he said.
Further Comment: Craig Wilkins 0417 879 439