With the Murray-Darling Basin Plan due to be released next week, Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon has called for the sensitive river eco-system to be protected to secure the long-term viability of NSW communities, agriculture, economy and the environment.
Read Senator Rhiannon’s adjournment speech in the federal Senate.
“The upcoming plan must provide adequate water to boost the health of the basin,” Senator Rhiannon said.
“Recently, documents obtained by Friends of the Earth brought to light that the NSW government privately pressed the independent Murray-Darling Basin Authority to release more groundwater for the mining industry in its draft Basin Plan.
“This is very worrying, particularly at a time when the Authority is coming to its own findings.
“Successive NSW governments have left a terrible legacy from placing mining interests ahead of those of communities and the natural environment.
“These short-sighted actions have resulted in a tragic loss of high conservation woodlands, forests and wetlands in NSW, reduced biodiversity, damage to pristine water catchments, rivers and aquifers and increased threats to prime agricultural lands.
“This massive water catchment covers most of NSW. The health of the river system is linked with our economy and environmental wellbeing.
“This is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to overcome decades of environment degradation and secure the future health of the basin,” Senator Rhiannon said.