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.
"Independent scientists, environmental groups and even the South Australian Premier all agree a minimum 4,000 GL is needed to flush out the salt, keep open the Murray Mouth and protect the Coorong and Lower Lakes.
"That's why the MDBA should appoint an independent scientific panel to scrutinise the science it used to settle on the 2,800 figure and expand on the peer review outcomes from the CSIRO review.
"The authority should table all the evidence for its modelling-- such as the full list of constraints, river flows, and diversion rates -- so we can be assured it reached its conclusion using the best available peer-reviewed science.
"The draft plan must not be based on unrealistic figures from before the drought to soothe the concerns of some critics. Getting the numbers wrong will prolong the environment's suffering, and by the time corrections are made, it could be too late for some ecosystems."