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Murray Darling Basin Plan still falls short, despite Government’s hype

Media Release
Sarah Hanson-Young 30 Oct 2012

The Australian Greens are urging people to listen to the experts and see through the Government’s spin on the recently announced changes to the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

 “The Federal Government’s fudging of the figures when it comes to the Murray Darling Basin Plan is being laid bare for all to see,” the Greens’ Murray Darling spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

 “Tony Windsor has both revealed himself as an environmental risk while exposing the Government’s spin for what it is in comments he has made today.

 “He is urging farmers to see through the Government’s environmental rhetoric and seize this opportunity to return a dangerously small amount of water to the environment while they can.

 “He says it is probably the ‘best deal’ they will be offered, but the Australian Greens fail to see how a deal that will risk the river’s future can be good for any community that needs the river to survive.

 “The Australian Greens agree that the Government’s empty triumphalism should be recognised and discredited for what it is, because a plan that will ultimately kill the river is bad for everyone.

 “The maximum return of 3200GL isn’t even guaranteed, won’t be delivered until 2024, won’t save the river and leaves many South Australian environmental sites like the Coorong and the Murray Mouth in serious peril.

 “As it stands, the plan will only be required to return 2750GL to the environment, far short of the 3200GL being touted by the Government.

 “When increased groundwater extractions are factored into this amount, water for the environment is reduced to barely a trickle.

 “The modelling undertaken up until now hasn’t shown the effects of significant planned groundwater extraction, nor has it taken into account the increasing impact of reduced water through climate change.

 “The Government is spinning this announcement as best it can, but the Australian Greens won’t be supporting a Murray Darling Basin Plan that fails our country’s most significant river system.

 “The Greens are willing to work with the Government to adopt a plan that is environmentally and scientifically sound.”

 Media Contact: Noah Schultz-Byard 0427 604 760

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