The Government must drop its plans to rip 605 billion litres out of environmental water from the southern Murray Darling Basin and focus on restoring health to the river, the Australian Greens say following harrowing reports of the dying Coorong.
“$8 billion has been spent on the Murray Darling Basin Plan and the Coorong is dying. The Government needs to take the blinkers off, wake up and realise the entire Basin, and the river communities who rely on it, are at a tipping point,” Greens Murray Darling Basin spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“There are no jobs on a dead river, and a river dies from the mouth up. How the Government can continue to justify ripping 605 billion litres away from the southern basin is beyond me.
“The Government is trying to convince the senate that they can invest in water efficiency projects to offset ripping 605 billion litres of environmental water from the river. We’ve heard today that projects worth 701 billion litres of environmental water have failed and sent the health of the river backwards.
“The Murray Darling Basin Authority tells us it will update its modelling to reflect climate change and it will do the work to find out how much water has been returned to the river - but when? The Senate is being asked to decide on significant, permanent changes to the plan in a fortnight.
“The Greens are more determined than ever to see our disallowance pass the Senate on May 8. There is no way we can allow reductions to flows while the river is dying.”