The Federal Government has put up the white flag on the Murray Darling Basin crisis, the Greens say.
“The Coalition has had six years in government and instead of implementing the Murray Darling Basin Plan to ensure it’s managed in the worst times, it’s completely messed it up,” Greens spokesperson for Water Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“The Water Minister claims he can’t make it rain therefore he can’t do anything to help.
“The Environment Minister says she can’t do anything to look after the environment.
“Barnaby Joyce bragged he had taken water of the environment to give to big corporate irrigators – and now the River is stuffed.
“They are waving the white flag and they’re shirking all responsibility. Water can and must be returned to the system.
“The National Party have proven once again they can’t be trusted with managing the nation’s biggest River system.
“Big cotton has over extracted water and harvested it from floodplains when it has rained. If the Government really wants to do something, the Water Minister will put an embargo on water extraction used for cotton in the Northern Basin.
“The Water Minister and the Environment Minister must stop pretending they can’t do anything while letting their big corporate mates keep taking water from the Murray Darling at the expense of family farms, River communities and the environment.
“They should also back my bill to establish a Royal Commission into management of the Murray-Darling which is desperately needed to get to the bottom of what’s gone so wrong for the River on this government’s watch.”