The Greens have today announced they will move for a Senate inquiry into the Murray Darling Basin Authority's draft plan when Parliament resumes next week so parliamentarians can scrutinise what is being proposed.
"We want an answer to the basic question why did the MDBA choose 2,750 GL when the science says the river system needs at least 4,000 GL," Greens' water spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.
"The basin authority has yet to justify that figure.
"There's $9 billion of taxpayers' money at stake and it will be a national tragedy if it doesn't result in a healthy, working river system now and in the future.
"Politicians from all sides are going to be asked to sign off on this plan, but before they do it's important they understand its real ramifications, such as the consequences of a further 2,600 GL being allocated for groundwater extraction.
"Prime Minister Gillard has today visited Adelaide and didn't explain if the draft plan would secure the Murray Darling system's future. The Greens know the draft will not save the basin as is, and that's why major reforms are needed to ensure two million tonnes of salt are flushed from the system annually.
"Serious questions need to be asked about the credibility of the science used and whether the plan is even legal for fulfilling the environmental outcomes required by the Commonwealth Water Act.
"We hope all sides consider our inquiry and specifically urge all South Australian MPs to lobby their parties to back it."