Today’s meeting of the Murray–Darling Basin Ministerial Council has left the River system in crisis, robbed the environment, and has left South Australia high and dry.
“Today’s meeting has delivered a major blow to the environment, with cuts to crucial environmental water and a delay in plans designed to restore the health of the River” said Senator for SA and Greens Spokesperson for the Murray-Darling, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.
“Rather than tackling over-allocation and mismanagement of water, Water Ministers today cut water to the environment. This means less water for the River to survive, while big irrigators can keep damming, pumping and making profits.
“The only winners out of the today's meeting are the big irrigators upstream who have continued to expand irrigation, despite the drought.
“What we’ve seen today is a concerted, planned effort from the upstream states to cut obligations to the environment and roll South Australia.
“NSW’s refusal to help return the promised 450gl to the River as required in the Plan throws South Australia under the bridge.
“When the Murray-Darling Plan was agreed to, all signatories — that is, all the States — agreed to return 3,200 gigalitres of water to the River, that commitment is now effectively dead.
“The SA Water Minister should hang his head in shame. How did he let this happen?
“SA Premier Steven Marshall needs to front up to South Australians and explain what he’s going to do with his capitulating, weak Minister who has sold out our state and surrendered the Rivers health."