Greens will refer Water Bill to Inquiry

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The Australian Greens today indicated they intend to refer the 300 page Water Amendments Bill to a Senate Committee inquiry.

"This is a crucial piece of legislation in addressing the crisis in the Murray Darling Basin and delivering sustainability and long-term viability to the communities and the ecosystems of the Basin," said Senator Siewert.

"We acknowledge that we need to act on this quickly, but more than anything we need to make sure we get this right."

"It is essential to ensure that we are creating a Murray Darling Basin Authority that has the powers it needs to deliver effective whole-of-basin governance, and the independence it needs to do so wisely."

"The evidence we are hearing in our ongoing Senate Inquiry into the Coorong and Lower Lakes indicates that communities and industries are already facing significant restructuring, with little Government assistance, and we need to be prepared for a future with half as much water available," said Senator Siewert.

"This scale of change is well beyond what was expected when the intergovernmental reform process began in the basin - we need to seriously consider whether the model we are now putting up is capable of dealing with change on this scale."

"We urgently need to get this right," concluded Senator Siewert.

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