Updated: November 21, 2012
Basin Plan Fails the River
South Australian environment groups warn that the MDB Plan due to be put before the Federal Parliament will not restore Australia’s great river system to health.
“The adjustment bill passed by the Senate 22nd November is still based around a reduction of take of 2,750GL. This falls far short of what the system needs. The proposed ‘Special Account’ to increase this to 3200 GL also falls short of what the system needs, plus there is no legal requirement for the ‘Special Account’ to result in the promised 450 GL of extra water”, said Tim Kelly CE, Conservation Council SA.
“The Plan ignores the advice of Australia’s leading river scientists and in doing so condemns the Murray Darling Basin to a bleak future. We are the driest continent on Earth and the sustainable management of our river system is fundamentally important. As a nation we must act responsibly and find the political will to get this right,” said Peter Owen, Campaign Manager, The Wilderness Society.
‘The key purpose of the Water Act is to return extraction to long term sustainable levels to support both the ecosystems that depend on the Basin and the continued productive use of the Basin. In so doing the Plan must comply with the Water Act 2007 and we have argued that any Amendments to the Water Act need to be consistent with the Objects of the Act,’ said Professor Diane Bell (Representative CCSA).
The Wilderness Society and Conservation Council SA echo the words of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists that ‘There has never been any scientific analysis, released by the Murray-Darling basin Authority or any other scientific institution, to suggest that returning 3,200Gl of water to the rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin will deliver a healthy working river system’.
Ensuring a future for the Murray-Darling River system requires vision, a vision of the society the plan is to serve. Our leaders have sought to balance competing interests but shied away from constructing a compelling narrative for Australian society. This Plan is costing tax payers $10 billion plus the extra account should the amendment carry. The nation deserves better. We have the Water Act. We have the science. We do not have a Basin Plan.
For more information, please contact:
The Wilderness Society (South Australia) Inc
Postal: GPO Box 1734
Adelaide, SA, 5001
Lvl 7, 118 King William St,
Adelaide, SA, 5000
Phone: 08 8231 6586