The Gillard government should heed the advice of the Wentworth Group's report into the Murray Darling Basin Authority's draft plan and commit to having the flawed science corrected. The government must ensure the parliament is given a legal and credible plan that will deliver a healthy, working river and is environmentally sound, the Australian Greens said today.
"The Group have reinforced what the Greens have been saying for months - that the MDBA has ignored the science and risks jeopardising billions of taxpayers' dollars," Greens' Murray Darling Basin spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.
"With $9 billion at stake, it must get an environmental outcome. Spending it and not protecting the river system will be a national tragedy.
"We agree with the Concerned Scientists who say the draft plan's science has been manipulated for a political outcome and lacks integrity.
"The scientists show the 2,750 GL in the plan will not be enough to deliver a healthy, working river and may be in breach of the Commonwealth Water Act. The legality of the plan is threatened unless there is a rewrite, backed by credible science.
"There's nothing in the plan which addresses climate change, nor does it explain how the Murray Mouth will remain open, or flush out two million tonnes of salt from the system annually.
"Unlike the scaremongering from some quarters, the Group's analysis shows a worst case scenario of around 200 job losses in the basin a year. Some models point to thousands of jobs being created through public investments in water buybacks and infrastructure, if the money was to be spent properly."