Today’s modelling released by the Murray Darling Basin Authority has shown that the earlier figure of 2750GL/y was unacceptable, highlighting the fact that more needs to be done before a Plan can be agreed to, according to the Australian Greens.
“The MDBA’s analysis of a 3200GL/y environmental return shows that the much touted earlier figure of 2750GL/y was inadequate and that further scientific study must be carried out,” Greens spokesperson for the Murray Darling Basin, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“The modelling that is being brandished by Minister Burke today is only one piece of the complex Murray Darling puzzle, and we are still being asked to make a decision in the dark.
“The best available science has always said the environment needs at least 4000GL to give the system a chance at good health, so why are the MDBA and the Minister refusing to model that water return scenario?
“Instead we’ve seen the Minister and the MDBA spend this whole year travelling around the Basin telling us that the arbitrary figure of 2750GL is a good start, when today it’s finally been admitted that 2750GL was never going to get us anywhere near what we need.
“Anyone who cares about the river should not be fooled by today’s announcement. It is absolutely no surprise that more water and fewer constraints will give us better environmental outcomes, but more needs to be done.
“Today’s modelling doesn’t take into account the thousands of gigalitres of groundwater extraction or the fact that the adjustment mechanism might leave us with far less water than 2750GL.
“The Government must give this Parliament the information and stop cherry picking the science to deliver a politically expedient, but environmentally disastrous, outcome.
“We can’t fiddle with the figures if we want to achieve genuine reform that will save the river.”
Media Contact: Noah Schultz-Byard 0427 604 760