Environment Victoria has welcomed the announcement today that the Federal Government is investing $1.2 billion in northern Victorian irrigation districts to return water to the ailing Murray River system.
“The deal, agreed today between the state and federal governments, is good news for our rivers as it will generate 214 billion litres of water savings that will be used to improve river health and meet water recovery targets under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan” said Environment Victoria Healthy Rivers Campaigner Juliet Le Feuvre.
“However it’s an expensive way of getting water back into rivers at over $5,000 per million litres, much more expensive than buying the water at around $2,000 per million litres. This comparison highlights the need for the Federal Government to continue water purchase programs which have been highly successful and popular to date”.
“The deal between the state and federal governments now clears the way for cooperation on returning Victorian rivers like the Goulburn and the Campaspe to health through the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. This will require a Basin-wide water recovery target in the order of 4000 GL as recommended by the best available science.”
“It’s important that the Victorian government supports the Murray Darling Basin Plan process and advocates water recovery targets that are adequate to restore Victorian rivers. They can’t just pick and choose the bits of the Basin Plan that they like, for instance irrigation infrastructure upgrades. Rather they need to represent all Victorians and ensure that the Basin Plan process delivers enough water to save the Murray forever” said Ms Le Feuvre.
Juliet Le Feuvre, Healthy Rivers Campaigner on 0428 770 019