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Basin Plan, from river’s greatest hope to environmental risk

The current Murray Darling Basin Plan will not save our nation’s most important river system, despite the Government’s spin, the Australian Greens said today.

“The Government have done a dirty deal with the Coalition and now we’re left with a Plan that supports the big irrigators and not the environment,” the Greens’ Murray Darling spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

 “We must be clear, this Plan will not save the river and that is why Barnaby Joyce is so eager to support Tony Burke and his environmentally reckless package.

 “In asking for the Plan to be sent back to Minister Burke so he can actually protect the environment, the Greens are standing up for all Australians who want to see our most important water system defended.

 “While Minister Burke and the State Government are trying to dupe South Australians into being happy about a deal that hurts our state, I am doing all I can to bring about the genuine protections the Plan was supposed to provide.

 “I have introduced a bill into the Senate that will strengthen the Water Act, which would actually help to protect South Australia from having to live through another drought that really risks our water supply.

 “Because of the deals that this Government has done with the Coalition, the final return of the Basin Plan could be well below the already drastically insufficient target of 2750GL.

 “While we know the best available science has always said the river needs at least 4000GL, the Greens compromised and have been working hard in Parliament to lock in a guaranteed minimum of 3200GL, but unfortunately the Government has decided to sell South Australia out and do a deal with the upstream irrigators.

 “It is essential that we get this right and I will continue to stand up for South Australia and all Australians who want a Plan that will achieve real outcomes because the River Murray, the Coorong and the Lower Lakes are too precious to lose.”

Media Contact: Noah Schultz-Byard 0427 604 760

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