Australia urgently needs a National Water Pollution Plan with clean water looming as the next crisis as a result of the catastrophic fires across the country, the Greens say.
Greens Spokesperson for Water Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said experts were already warning of the threat to drinking water.
“The unprecedented fires we are seeing across the country are putting Australia’s clean water supply at risk. I’m very worried clean drinking water is the next looming crisis,” Senator Hanson-Young said.
“Ash, debris and rotting carcasses are washing into our rivers and waterways causing pollution and contamination to our drinking water.
“Rivers and lakes are starved of oxygen from the pollution, impacting animals and plants that need the oxygen to survive, and leading to catastrophic events like the Menindee fish kill last summer.
“We urgently need a National Water Pollution Plan and the Prime Minister needs to tell us how he plans to keep our water clean.
“We are lucky you can turn on the tap here and drink the water from it, you know your kids are safe brushing their teeth with it – that is all at risk.
“The climate emergency has already pushed many parts of the country into drought and dried up water supplies to some regional towns.
“Our environment and native species are facing an ecological disaster.
“The short and long term impacts from the fires on water cannot be ignored or delayed, or even more communities will suffer.”