Blog | 19th Nov, 2012

Last chance to save the Murray

After months of wrangling the Murray Darling Basin Plan is about to be presented to Parliament by Minister Burke. But it’s looking increasingly likely that $11 billion of taxpayers’ funds is going to be spent on a plan that just won’t deliver for the river. And after all, isn’t saving the river system why we began this whole process?

Here’s why 2750 gigalitres is not good enough:

Doesn’t protect species in jeopardy

– In many places we’ll have flooding for too short a time for birds to breed

– Native fish still stuck, unable to migrate or breed

Doesn’t solve salinity

– Lower Lakes still have the potential to acidify, effectively becoming dead lakes

– Critical salinity thresholds in the Coorong will still be exceeded, wiping out local wildlife

– The Coorong hasn’t fully recovered from the damage caused by the last drought

Wetlands lost

– We’ve already lost many wetlands, only a fraction of the red gum forests are still standing

– Floodplains left high and dry – not enough water to reach black box woodlands, disaster areas with many trees already dead

South Australia left for dead

– Lack of flows at the Murray mouth mean rising salinity in the Lower Lakes & oorong

– Dairy farmers are bailing out because water has become too salty to use

– Adelaide gets drinking water from the Murray in dry years – it’s becoming too salty to drink