Environment Victoria is deeply disappointed in the Murray-Darling Basin Plan outlined by Water Minister Tony Burke at the National Press Club today. The Plan, which will return 2750 billion litres to river systems over the next 10 years, will not restore the Murray or the Darling to health.
Environment Victoria CEO Kelly O’Shanassy said today:
“The Basin Plan is a huge missed opportunity to fix the overuse of water on the Murray-Darling basin. It was our big chance to provide a sustainable future for the rivers and their communities and the Plan presented by Minister Burke today fails this basic test.
“The federal government is spending billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money in an attempt to fix our rivers but it is leaving the job half done. The Basin Plan does not return enough water to rivers to protect their environmental values in the long term – it returns only enough water to meet a little over half of the environmental objectives set for the river system. “The promise made by the federal government to increase the amount of water returned to 3200 GL remains far from reality and there is still a huge amount of work to be done to get that extra water delivered. The states and the federal government must continue to work over the next few weeks to lock in the extra 450 GL and give the Plan a chance of success.
“Australia needs a Basin Plan that returns the Murray River, the lifeblood of millions of Australians, to health. The Plan unveiled today falls well short of this goal and needs significant improvement to give the Murray a chance in the next drought.”
Kelly O’Shanassy 0421 054 402