The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) says proposed changes to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan that will weaken water recovery for our rivers, wildlife and wetlands must be rejected until there are stronger guarantees the plan will be delivered in full.

ACF Director of Campaigns, Dr Paul Sinclair, said the Federal Government’s proposed reduction to the southern Basin sustainable diversion limit of 605 billion litres should be struck out by the Parliament until:

  • A clear, realistic pathway for recovering the promised additional 450 billion litres of water to bolster the environment is guaranteed in law.
  • It is ensured the proposed projects to create the water delivery efficiencies that justify the  recovery reduction meet non-negotiable scientific criteria under national law.

The ACF is also urging our elected representatives to reject a separate amendment that would reduce the water recovery target for the northern Basin by 70 billion litres.

“Delivering half the Basin Plan is no plan at all. It is a death sentence for the Murray-Darling and the integrity of the Basin Plan,” Dr Sinclair said.

“Over the last six months numerous revelations have cast serious doubt about whether our elected officials are ensuring the Basin Plan is being fully delivered for the benefit of all wildlife and communities that rely on the river, not just a handful of powerful irrigators.

“Until the community can be confident that system is working properly to restore the rivers, wetlands and wildlife of the Murray-Darling we should not be weakening the water recovery aspirations of the Basin Plan.

“By putting up these amendments in their current form the Turnbull Government is breaking its pledge to implement the Basin Plan in full and on time.

“The Government should withdraw these amendments and come back to the table with better outcomes for our environment and our communities. If they don’t then the Senate should reject these amendments until it can be ensured the Basin Plan will restore our rivers, wetlands and wildlife.”

ACF Media Enquiries

Journalists with enquiries may contact Tom Arup on 0402 482 910. For all other enquiries please call 1800 223 669 or email action@acf.org.au.