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Mixed messages on water from Govts muddle SA’s water future

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says the federal Water Minister’s vision of a more water-secure Murray-Darling Basin in ten years’ time will remain a fantasy if current practices and attitudes to water continue.

Water Minister Penny Wong yesterday said at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia conference that, in a decade’s time, the Murray-Darling Basin’s rivers and wetlands will resemble their natural state and domestic water restrictions could be eased.

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Budget

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (2.14 pm) - My question is to the Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Wong.

Considering that there was only one big increase in new money for South Australia in terms of water in the budget - that is, the injection of an additional $228 million to double the size of the desalination plant and very little for reviving the river - is the minister aware of comments made by the Premier of South Australia yesterday in relation to the additional funding?

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SA Budget funds represent missed opportunities

Greens Senator for South Australia Sarah Hanson-Young has pointed to extra millions for Adelaide’s desalination plant and a drop in money for water reform in the Murray-Darling Basin as the weak links in South Australia’s allocation in the Federal Budget.

An extra $228 million was provided for Adelaide’s desalination plant on the agreement that it double its output from 50GL to 100GL per year, while $16.4 million over two years was cut from water reform programs for the Murray-Darling Basin.

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Greens ‘New Century’ Australia Senate Agenda

The Australian Greens today outlined their vision for Australia in the new century ahead of the opening of the Balance-of-Power Senate.

Australian Greens Leader, Senator Bob Brown, said a record 1.17 million people voted Greens at the last election, and the five Greens Senators were ready to work constructively with all parties to respond to the challenges of the new century.

"Pollution, poverty, discrimination and the destruction of Australia's forests and precious environments are the legacy of the last century and decades of greed and inaction."

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South Australians need better public transport to survive sky-high petrol prices

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has called for greater federal funding to fix South Australia’s public transport woes.

“Public transport in this state must be improved urgently, so we can get around efficiently in the years to come,” she said.

“The rising cost of petrol means many households are being tempted
to leave their cars in their driveways - if they can afford to run a
car at all. But the fact is that public transport in many areas is
woefully inadequate, which means those cars are being forced back on
the roads.

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Greens’ plan for urgent action on Adelaide’s water

While launching the Greens’ urban water plan today, the party’s SA
Senate candidate Sarah Hanson-Young has called on politicians of all
parties to address Adelaide’s water crisis.

“Years of inaction and buck passing has resulted in Adelaide now facing a water emergency,” said Ms Hanson-Young.

“With the impact of climate change predicted to have a devastating
effect on rainfall and evaporation, it is more important than ever to
reduce urban water use.

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Greens back National Trust call for immediate action on Murray Darling Basin

The Australian Greens today congratulated the Australian Council of National Trust for their call for immediate action on the Murray Darling Basin, but said their targets are not sufficient.


Speaking from Adelaide, alongside Greens SA Senate candidate Sarah Hanson-Young, Senator Rachel Siewert said: "Inflows to the Murray Darling are at their lowest in 116 years, irrigation allocations are at an all time low, and we have even less water in storage this summer than last year."

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