The Australian Greens will move to cement the Government’s recently announced 3200GL target for the Basin Plan as the absolute minimum amount of water to be returned to the environment in coming weeks.
“The Greens have announced today that they will move to amend two Water Bills currently before federal parliament with an aim to guarantee 3200GL of water as the absolute minimum to be returned to the environment,” Greens’ Murray Darling spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“Currently we have a collection of promises and toothless legislation which only serves to further bank roll the big irrigators and fails to guarantee the minimum water needed to save the river system, but our amendments will change that.
“Tony Burke has said 3200GL is both doable and necessary and the Greens’ amendments will guarantee it is actually delivered.
“The Government has been overhyping a Basin Plan which sets an aspirational target of 3200GL to be returned in more than ten years’ time but doesn’t provide any guarantees for a water recovery target beyond 2750GL.
“That’s not even taking into account the impact that increased groundwater extraction and climate change might have on environmental flows.
“Even if the Federal Government lives up to its word and reaches 3200GL, this would still fail 17 out of 20 environmental targets set by the South Australian Government which, perplexingly, now openly supports the Plan.
“The number of dissenting voices lining up to criticise this Government’s Plan continues to grow, but the Greens simply want a strategy implemented that is based on the best available science.
“We are calling for a Plan that recognises the advice of environmental experts and returns a minimum of 4000GL to the Basin system because this is too important an opportunity for us to miss.
“I have written to Minister Burke explaining that the Australian Greens are ready to work with The Government to secure a Plan that guarantees a healthy river system and therefore guarantees its own passage through the Senate.”
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