Following yesterday’s disallowance vote in the Senate, where Labor and Liberal teamed up to cut 605 billion litres of water from the environment, the Government is today rushing further cuts to the River through Parliament. The 70 billion litres previously saved for the environment are now being put back on the table.
In fighting this backflip, the Australian Greens will also move to legislate the delivery of the 450 billion litres of water promised to South Australia to strengthen the health of the Murray.
“The disgraceful deal between the Labor and Liberal parties to sell out the Murray does nothing to guarantee water delivery for South Australia, at a time when our Coorong and Lower Lakes are dying. We must enshrine more water for the river in legislation,” Greens Murray Darling Basin spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“The Labor Party said they couldn’t support handing 70 billion litres over to big corporate irrigators when they supported the Greens disallowance in February, because of the rorting, water theft and corruption rife in the northern basin, yet the only thing that has changed in the Northern Basin is that Labor is now on the side of big cotton.
“Labor holds a misplaced belief that they’re champions for the Basin – well, they’ve sold it out, and the millions of Australians who rely on it. Instead of delivering more water for the Murray, Labor has teamed up with the Turnbull Government to reduce the amount of water returned to the environment.
“The Australian Greens will always stand up for the river. Until the 450 billion litres is enshrined in legislation, South Australians can have little faith that the Labor and Liberal parties are acting in the interests of the river, and not in the interests of the big corporate cotton growers set to benefit from their deal.
“If the Labor and Liberal parties are serious about ‘saving the Plan’, they’ll support legislating the delivery of 450 billion litres, as agreed – because all they’ve done so far in the name of the river is sign its death warrant.”