Plibersek must stick to Murray-Darling Basin Plan at Water Ministers meeting tomorrow
The Greens are calling on Federal Water Minister Tanya Plibersek to stick to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan at tomorrow's Ministerial Council meeting in Canberra, and pull NSW and Vic into line and announce voluntary buybacks are back on the table.
Greens Spokesperson for Environment and Water and Senator for South Australia Sarah Hanson-Young has been calling for a MinCo to be held as a priority under the new Labor Government.
Senator Hanson-Young said Labor had committed to implementing the Plan in full and on time at the election and including delivering the 450GL to South Australia. She said doing deals with upstream states and corporate irrigators tomorrow would be a broken promise.
"New South Wales and Victoria are demanding less water for the environment because they have failed to live up to their end of the bargain. It's hard to believe they ever intended to deliver the environmental water required under the Plan," Senator Hanson-Young said.
"Minister Plibersek must hold the line. The water required to be returned under the Plan is necessary for the health of the entire river system. States cannot just opt in and out as they please, it puts South Australia and our drinking water in jeopardy and the long-term future of all river communities, small family farms and the environment at risk.
"It's clear the only way to return enough water to the system quickly and cost-effectively is to start buying water back and Minister Plibersek should announce tomorrow that she is taking this action.
"After nearly a decade of mismanagement and billions of dollars spent by Barnaby Joyce and the National Party, there is is no time to waste.
"Upstream states have wriggled out of every commitment they possibly could, with the environment and South Australia left begging."