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Australian Greens join calls for MDBA to let independent scientific panel see its numbers

The Australian Greens have backed the Australian Conservation Foundation's suggestion for an independent scientific panel to scrutinise the figures used in the Murray Darling Basin Authority's forthcoming draft plan.

"We are very concerned to learn from news reports that the draft plan will recommend 2,800 gigalitres be allocated to the environment each year," Greens' water and Murray Darling spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

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Red-letter day in fight against warming

Today will be a great day for Australians who have waited years for their government to take our warming planet seriously.

After years of talk and a few backward steps, the Senate will pass a suite of legislation that will put a price on pollution from July next year.

Australians - who in 2007 and 2010 voted for politicians to back widespread community support for taking action - will be able to finally say that most of their elected representatives listened and acted.

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Greens wary ahead of MDBA draft report

The Australian Greens say it appears the environment will again be the loser when the Murray Darling Basin Authority's draft plan is finally released on November 28.

"I am very concerned by the Federal Water Minister's announcement yesterday that he's again changing the way diversion rates are calculated," Greens' spokesperson for water and the Murray-Darling Basin, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

"Of course it's important to provide certainty, but the decision to use data that ends at 2003 is certain to cause significant problems down the track.

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Sarah addresses the national water leadership summit in Canberra

Sarah was a guest speaker at the Australian Water Assocation's 2nd annual national water leadership summit in Canberra this morning, 03/11/11.

She explained what the Greens are doing to ensure the future of water supplies in Australia, particularly the Murray-Darling basin system.

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Murray-Darling Draft Plan Misses The Mark - Greens

 The Australian Greens have joined ten of the nation's most influential environmental groups in condemning the proposal to reduce environmental flows in the Murray-Darling Basin Authority's draft plan.

"Any suggestion that 2,800GL of water is enough to save the river is absurd," said Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, the Greens' Water Spokesperson.

"We know that at  4,000GL to 7600 GL  is needed to save the environment. The Lower Lakes and Coorong in my home state of South Australia are particularly vulnerable."

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New Murray Darling Basin water limits inadequate

The Australian Greens say reports that the Murray Darling Basin Authority's forthcoming draft plan will include a minimum 2,800 gigalitres in sustainable diversion limits shows there will not be enough water to save the system.

"It's becoming increasingly clear the draft plan won't contain the bare minimum 4,000 GL scientists say is needed to ensure the river survives," Greens' Murray Darling Basin and water spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

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Asylum seeker debate out of proportion

Yesterday the full bench of the High Court began hearing a challenge to the Malaysian solution.

The Greens hope David Manne and Debbie Mortimer, SC, and their legal team succeeds, not least because we do not want unaccompanied children to be expelled to a country where their rights cannot be guaranteed. It's not yet clear when the court will issue its ruling, but it could permanently derail the Gillard government's plans to export Australia's international obligations to give protection to countries including Malaysia and, possibly, Papua New Guinea.

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We're back in town

We politicians are back in Canberra this morning after a five-week winter recess. It sounds like a long break, but federal politicians work seven days a week, so it passed by in a flash. As a mother of a young daughter, I cherish such times as I was able to spend more time with her. Even the Prime Minister had a few days out of the media spotlight, although she stayed in Canberra. Tony Abbott, too, put the hard hat and reflective vest down for 10 days and went overseas with his family.

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