Media Releases | 21st May, 2012

Victorian government gambling with future of the Murray River

Monday, 21 May 2012

Environment Victoria today condemned the Victorian government’s approach to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. The government’s proposal to return even less water to northern Victoria’s rivers and wetlands will make their future survival more uncertain than under the proposed Basin Plan.

Juliet Le Feuvre, Environment Victoria Healthy Rivers campaigner said today:

The Victorian government is leading the race to the bottom to see who can get away with returning the least water to the environment. The proposed Basin Plan is already a huge compromise between the needs of the environment and consumptive use. To reduce the amount of environmental water even further will just make the Plan a more spectacular failure for the environment

“The reason we are undertaking the Basin Plan process is that we have taken too much water out of our rivers for too long, with damaging consequences for our river systems. The State Government is gambling with the future of our rivers by trying to weaken the Basin Plan

“The Victorian government is proposing that 2100 billion litres will be enough water to restore the Murray system to health. But their modelling shows that salinity levels in the Coorong will be well above acceptable limits and they haven’t released any information on what their target would mean for the health of Victoria’s biggest river, the Goulburn.

“The Murray-Darling Basin Plan is all about the long term future of our rivers and wetlands, and the communities that depend on them. It’s the biggest opportunity we have to halt the ecological decline of our river systems and to put northern Victorian agriculture on sustainable foundations. Any further compromise on the amount of water to be returned to the environment will doom the whole plan to failure. The Victorian government should think long and hard about what is really important for northern Victorian communities. Failing to protect the river systems that agriculture depends upon would be disastrous for famers and the environment.

“Our polling shows that Victorians want to see a healthy Murray river system, not one that is dying from the mouth up” Ms LeFeuvre concluded.


Environment Victoria Campaigns Director Mark Wakeham 0439 700 501