The Australian Greens have today reaffirmed their commitment to disallowing changes to the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
“The Senate is being asked to allow 605 billion litres of water to be ripped off the environment for the sake of untested water efficiency projects, despite a constant flow of reports that big corporate irrigators are stealing water from the river and getting away with it,” Greens Murray Darling Basin spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“The Government has consistently refused make details of these projects public. They’ve refused Senate orders to provide the business cases and how much each of the projects are worth in water.
“This is another case of the Water Minister asking us to trust the Government on this, but history shows us we’re right to be sceptical. The Greens do not share the Murray Darling Basin Authority’s confidence that these projects are up to scratch, and it is a gamble the Senate must not take.
“The Murray Darling Basin Plan is in tatters, thanks to water theft, meter tampering, and special treatment from the Nationals to their big corporate irrigator mates. River communities want the plan to work, but as long as environmental water is intentionally siphoned off into corporate tanks and dams, they can have little faith that our nation’s food bowl is going to sustain us into the future.
“This week The Greens joined with crossbenchers calling again for an independent audit into the Murray Darling Basin Plan. Until we have certainty that the water taxpayers bought for the environment hasn’t ended up in a big corporate irrigator’s water stores and has gone to the river, we cannot allow major, permanent changes to the Plan.
“Labor must join with the Greens again when our disallowance motion comes up in the Senate next month.”