The Government must heed the advice of environmental experts who today published an article showing that the proposed Murray Darling Basin Plan would be both ineffectual and illegal, the Australian Greens say.
“The Greens welcome the work of all environmental and legal groups across Australia who are working to expose the catastrophic impact a substandard Murray Darling Basin Plan would have,” Greens spokesperson for the Murray Darling Basin, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“In South Australia we have seen firsthand the environmental disaster resulting from years of excessive water allocation and we know how important it is to get this right.
“The article published in the Australian Environmental Review today shows that, in its current form, the Plan would be illegal under the Water Act and wouldn’t honour Australia’s obligations under the Ramsar wetlands treaty.
“The closure of the Murray Mouth has already had a terrible effect on local ecologies because of increased salinity levels and, if we miss this opportunity, South Australia’s Coorong and Lower Lakes district will be further devastated.
“It has already been shown how ineffectual returning 2,750GL into the system would be and it is expected that a soon to be released modelling of a 3200GL return will show the same.
“The best available science says a return of 4000GL a year is needed if we are to have a chance of restoring the health of the Murray Darling system and that is the minimum we should be aiming for.”
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