Basin Plan sells science and communities down the river

22 November 2012.

Friends of the Earth. Media release.

Friends of the Earth Melbourne has condemned the final Murray Darling Basin Plan, announced by Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke today, as a sell-out plan that defies the best available science and imposes unacceptable risks on future generations.

Friends of the Earth spokesperson Will Mooney said "Mr Burke has only committed to 2,750 GL to the Murray Basin river system".

"The main game now is to lock in the additional 450GL previously promised by Mr Burke in the Basin Plan, so that Murray Darling Basin and its ecosystems have a chance of surviving."

"The science is clear: at least 4,000 gigalitres (GL) of additional environmental flows is required to ensure the health of our most significant river system. Precious wetlands, threatened species, and even the Murray Mouth itself need this water to survive," Friends of the Earth spokesperson Will Mooney said.

"In October, the Gillard Government promised that additional funding of $1.7 billion would ensure that an extra 450 GL of water flowed through the Murray Darling Basin. The plan announced by Tony Burke today provides no guarantee that this additional water will be provided."

"Friends of the Earth supports the Greens' proposed amendment to the '450 Up' Bill that would guarantee the recovery of the extra 450 GL by 2019. At an absolute minimum, the Gillard government must commit to delivering this extra water which could provide a lifeline for our dying rivers”.

“Future generations and the Basin's unique ecosystems must not be sold down the river."

"We welcome Minister Tony Burke's statements supporting funding for research into Indigenous Cultural Flows. Much more can be done within all jurisdictions to ensure that Indigenous Traditional Owners receive recognition of their inherent right to water resources."

Contact Will Mooney
0404 163 700