Outrage as Federal National Party attempts to destroy the Murray Darling Basin Plan

South Australia’s peak environment body responds to the National Party's moves in the Senate to gut the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

MEDIA RELEASE 

23 June 2021

Outrage as Federal National Party attempts to destroy the Murray Darling Basin Plan

Comments from South Australia’s peak environment body in response to the moves today in the Senate by the National Party to gut the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

“The amendments moved by the National Party in the Senate today are nothing short of outrageous. They represent an existential threat to the whole Basin Plan,” said Conservation SA Chief Executive Craig Wilkins.

“If they were to pass, there would be no Basin Plan left.  We’d be left without a Plan B for Australia’s greatest River.

“We must remember, only 2,100 GL of the promised 3,200 GL has been delivered so far. And the 3,200 GL Basin Plan water recovery target was a massive reduction on what scientists said would be enough water to secure the long-term health of the Murray Darling system.

“To contemplate stripping a further 450 GL betrays a basic lack of understanding of what is needed to ensure the River system can support irrigation communities, and the millions of Australians who rely on the water that flows through the Murray Darling Basin.

“The internationally critical Coorong and Southern Lakes wetland is already in desperate straits.  It is only the small amount of environmental water secured under the Basin Plan so far and a couple of wetter years that is keeping it alive.

“Further cuts to the Plan mean more fish kills, more algae blooms and more heartache for River communities.

“We need every policy option available to return the Darling and Murray River systems to health, including the ability for water authorities to buyback water from willing sellers.

“It’s essential all sides of politics stand up today for the full delivery of the Murray Darling Basin Plan. 

“Our Prime Minister needs to stare down this opportunistic threat from the National Party and reaffirm the importance of the Murray Darling Basin Plan,” he said.   

Release Ends
Media Contact: Craig Wilkins, 0417 879 439

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Contact Conservation SA on (08) 8223 5155, [email protected], or at our offices at the Joinery at 111 Franklin Street, Adelaide.

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