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ENVIRONMENT—MURRAY-DARLING BASIN

Senator Farrell, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 765—That the Senate—

 (a) notes that:

  (i)  the over-allocation of water within the Murray-Darling Basin, combined with the emerging impacts of climate change, has lead to significant environmental problems, including those faced in the Lower Lakes and the Coorong,

  (ii) improving the health of Australia's rivers requires us to take less water from them and that the fastest way to improve river health is by purchasing water entitlements from willing sellers,

  (iii) in the longer term, the historic over-allocation and emerging climate change must be addressed under the forthcoming Murray-Darling Basin Plan, with a new lower limit on water use that is based on science, and

  (iv) there have been recent calls by politicians that seek to undermine the need for scientific integrity in determining this limit by demanding that less additional water be provided to the environment; and


 (b) urges:

  (i) the Government to maintain its purchase program, and

  (ii) the Murray-Darling Basin Authority to set new diversion limits that are based on science to ensure the key environmental assets in the basin are protected as set out in the Water Act 2007.

Question put and passed.