The Greens are urging the Liberal National Government to lift the freeze on water buy backs to restore much-needed flows to the Murray Darling Basin.
“Today, I’m writing to the Water Minister David Littleproud asking him to lift the ban on water buy backs immediately so water can be secured for the river to avoid further environmental collapse. Buying back water is the most economically efficient and environmentally effective way to restore the river and help stem the damage done to the environment,” Australian Greens environment and water spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“We know millions more fish could die within the next few months. This ecosystem is in collapse because there is not enough water going to the environment. The Minister should fix this, or he should go.
“This is a man-made problem caused by the mismanagement and incompetence of Barnaby Joyce and the Liberal National Party. Barnaby Joyce crowed about stopping water buybacks, ensuring water meant for the environment went to big corporate irrigators.
“While the environment goes without, the cotton industry continues to profit. We need a Royal Commission into the mismanagement and over extraction of water in the Murray Darling Basin.
“Putting fish back in the river is not going to work when there is not enough water. The Murray Darling Basin is a living ecosystem crying out for urgent relief – which means putting the environment, and our river communities ahead of the cotton industry.
“The Liberal National Government has failed the river while there is plenty of water in the storage dams of big cotton irrigators upstream.”