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STANDING COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT, COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS LEGISLATION COMMITTEE - 28/05/2009 - ENVIRONMENT, WATER, HERITAGE AND THE ARTS PORTFOLIO - Murray-Darling Basin Authority

Senator Hanson Young -There have been mixed reports in relation to the federal government's and the authority's position on the state government's proposed weir at Wellington. I would just like to understand directly from the commission what the position is of the commission on that proposed construction.

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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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Govt must purchase Timbercorp water rights

The Greens are urging the Federal Government to purchase water licences held by agriculture giant Timbercorp to throw the lower Murray a lifeline.

Timbercorp, one of Australia’s largest agribusinesses which is thought to hold rights to about 100,000 megalitres of water in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, went into voluntary administration last week.

“This is a golden opportunity to throw the Murray a lifeline,” said Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

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Lakes communities still waiting for lifeline on World Water Day

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has marked today's World Water Day by
calling on Water Minister Penny Wong to urgently implement plans to
rescue South Australia's stricken Lower Lakes.

The Greens negotiated a $10 million bioremediation project as part of
the economic stimulus package, which involves planting and mulching to
cover soils that are acidifying due to exposure in the absence of fresh
water. The project is yet to commence.

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STANDING COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT, COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS - 24/02/2009 - ENVIRONMENT, WATER, HERITAGE AND THE ARTS PORTFOLIO - Output 1.3 Conservation of the coasts and oceans

Senator Hanson Young -Minister, I have got some questions in relation to the various different referrals for different projects put forward by the state government in relation to the Lower Lakes in South Australia. Firstly, I was hoping you could give me a list of the current referrals that are there and where each of them is up to, briefly. I am sure we could talk about them more.

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Water and money are there for Lower Lakes lifeline

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says the Federal Government must act immediately rather than make excuses for the critical state of South Australia’s Lower Lakes.

“It’s a dreadful shame that the Federal Government has run up the white flag on the Lower Lakes,” said Senator Hanson-Young.

“What hope can lower Murray communities have when the Water Minister, herself a South Australian, has given up on the Lakes?

“Despite what Minister Wong insists, there is water available in the system.

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Salt water flooding option demands more public consultation

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says ten days is not long enough for public consultation on the prospect of flooding South Australia’s Lower Lakes with salt water.

Environment Minister Peter Garrett provided a ten-day period for public consultation which concludes today, and is set to decide whether or not he will approve salt water flooding by December 31 this year.

“Ten days for public consultation on such critical environmental, social and economic impacts is a joke, said Senator Hanson-Young.

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Action needed to avert Lower Lakes salt water scenario

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says that salt water flooding of South Australia’s Lower Lakes would be environmentally, socially and economically disastrous for lower Murray communities.

The South Australian Government has requested advance approval from its federal counterparts to let sea water into Lakes Alexandrina and Albert if the drought continues.

“Sea water flooding of the Lower Lakes would be nothing less than disastrous for this cherished part of South Australia,” she said.

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South Australians not suckers for Labor water spin

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has called for Victorian Premier John Brumby to stick to the facts on Murray-Darling water and not resort to public relations spin.

“South Australians, who have less water, will be appalled that professional public relations staff from the Victorian Premier’s office have been ‘spinning’ journalists in South Australia to ramp up support for Victoria’s North-South Pipeline,” she said.

“It’s a tactic which South Australians will see straight through.”

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