The South Australian Government has ignored the most damning elements of the Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission in its response finally released yesterday, the Greens say.
“After nine months, the South Australian Government’s response to the SA Royal Commission is a complete cop-out,” Greens Spokesperson for Water and Senator for SA, Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“This response from the SA Water Minister says very little and shows a complete disregard for the scientific warnings over the health of the River.
“Minister Spiers has ignored the biggest problem facing the management of the Murray-Darling, that being the health of river has been compromised by political and corporate interests.
“Too much water is still being taken out of the river system for irrigation and not enough has been returned as the science requires to keep it alive.
“The Minister’s rejection of water buy backs, in favour of spending public money on bogus ‘efficiency’ and ‘infrastructure’ projects - even for the 450GL promised to SA - shows he has rejected the key recommendations of both the SA Royal Commission and the Productivity Commission.
“The Minister has backed Barnaby Joyce, over SA and the River. Without reinstating the water buy-backs, scrapped by Mr Joyce, SA will never get the water and the River will not survive.
“It seems the SA Government has drunk the Federal Government’s kool-aid when it comes to what actually needs to be done to save the River and the communities that depends on it.
“This dereliction of duty to protect the River and South Australians who rely on it is shameful and only adds weight to the case for a Federal Royal Commission to hold all those responsible for killing the Murray-Darling to account.”