The motivations behind the release of a joint report into the Murray-Darling, commissioned by environment-eroding NSW and Victorian Governments, has been questioned by Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.
Greens Senator for South Australia and Spokesperson for the Environment and Water, Senator Hanson-Young warned that the unprecedented attack on the environmental flows of the Murray-Darling will not go unchecked.
“Threats from NSW and others to cut environmental flows is short-sighted, and only benefits big corporate irrigators.
“The report released today is nothing but a thin veneer to hide the real motivations by the NSW and Victorian Governments. In doing the bidding of the National Party’s donors and the big corporate irrigators, NSW and Victoria have essentially agreed to sell out the River at the expense of sustained environmental flows.
“The River is a national asset. It does not belong to NSW, or Victoria, or any one single State. Continued environmental vandalism of the River will lead to its eventual collapse — which is where we started when the Plan was first conceived at the height of the Millennium Drought.
“There’s no jobs on a dead river.
“Tomorrow’s meeting of the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council should be about working towards returning environmental flows to the River, not actively starving it.
“The SA Government must stand up for our state and River itself, in the interests of the rest of the country. Premier Marshall should press pause in the 100GL gifted by SA until NSW is prepared to play fairly and in interests of everyone, up and downstream.
“The South Australian Minister for Environment and Water, David Speirs MP, needs to go into Tuesday’s meeting prepared to fight, not just for SA’s environment and water supply, but for the survival of the whole river. And that means maintaining environmental flows and the reforms to protect them.
“Rewarding bad behaviour from the larger states and the corporate irrigators who have gamed the system is not the answer.