MEDIA RELEASE: 8 June 2018
Today, community members gathered outside the meeting of the Murray Darling Basin Ministerial Council (MinCo) meeting at the Hyatt in Canberra with the message: Healthy Rivers Need Water.
This is the first time state water ministers will come together since the Federal Government cut 605 billion litres from the Murray Darling Basin Plan in May.
The Victorian and NSW Governments support the cuts and want to abandon efforts to recover a further 450 billion litres through water efficiency measures, such as paying farmers to upgrade their irrigation systems.
“The state and federal governments are undermining the plan, putting the future of the river and river communities at risk” says Megan Williams, River Country Campaign Coordinator.
“The Darling is dry and the Coorong is sick, we need flows running the full course of the river.”
“The Basin Plan recognised that our rivers are over allocated. As irrigators, we need to ensure that our take is measured, responsible, and that it is sustainable into the future.” Peta Thornton, stone fruit grower from Woorinen, Victoria
“For river communities to survive long term, we need a healthy river”
“Healthy rivers need to flow from source to sea, we need our governments to deliver a robust plan thats supports all life through the whole basin” says Mel Gray, Healthy Rivers Ambassador for the Macquarie River.
“Across the basin we are facing increasing occurrences of blue-green algal blooms, how can state governments justify the public health risk of neglecting our river water” says Nicole McKay, Swan Hill community member.
“To even consider reducing the water in the river by 450 billion litres is reckless. It endangers the river, the environment and our communities future.”
River Country Coordinator
Friends of the Earth
0452 366 605