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Murray-Darling Plan Can't Be Allowed To Fail

The Murray-Darling Basin, governed by a truly independent authority, is our best chance to save the river system, and this reform can't be allowed to fail, according to Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.


Senator Hanson-Young, Greens spokesperson on the Murray-Darling Basin, says the figures set out in the guide released today by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority are based on the minimum levels that science tells us is needed to save the river system.


"For far too long we have over-allocated water in the Murray-Darling Basin, now we desperately need reform to reduce the amount of water we take out of the system, and return it to the river,'' Senator Hanson-Young said.


"The objective of this plan is to save the Murray-Darling Basin, to make the system sustainable not just for the next ten years, but for the next 100 years.


"To do that we can't afford to have the recommendations watered down. The 3000 to 4000GL recommended to go back into the river system - which takes into account social and economic costs - is the bare minimum required for the environment. The report itself states that if the only goal was to save the river for the long-term, we would be putting up to 7600GL back. The authority has told us the minimum needed - we can't afford to give the river anything less.


"It's time to get the balance right. Clearly this is going to be a difficult process, and there will much work needed to help communities transition. But we can't avoid the difficult choices any more. If we want to save the river, this is what we have to do - otherwise everyone loses.''


The Greens believe it is vital that where water extraction levels are reduced, the Federal Government provides adequate investment and infrastructure support to allow people to do more with less water.

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