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Independent stocktake confirms environmental targets



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The Hon Greg Hunt MP Minister for the Environment

The Hon Bob Baldwin MP Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment

MEDIA RELEASE

27 August 2015

Independent stocktake confirms environmental targets

An independent stocktake report has vindicated the progress of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan implementation.

Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt said today’s release of the Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL) stocktake showed projects were on track to deliver the environmental outcomes outlined under the Basin Plan.

“This independent report shows that over 500 gigalitres less water is needed to meet the environmental targets in the Plan and that states are on track to deliver the required projects,” Minister Hunt said.

“This will ensure the Basin Plan continues to deliver triple bottom line outcomes.

“We are committed to implementing the Basin Plan in full and on time in ways that support and maintain healthy viable communities and the environment.”

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment Bob Baldwin said the report was conservative in its findings and that it is reasonable to get up to 650 gigalitres.

“The SDL Mechanism reduces the need for water recovery while still delivering the Plan’s important environmental outcomes,” Mr Baldwin said.

“I look forward to continuing to work with the Basin states to progress the projects.”

The Coalition has also introduced legislation to Parliament to cap water buybacks to 1500 gigalitres.

“We’ve also committed to focus water recovery on infrastructure efficiencies which is why we’re investing $2.5 million a day into irrigated agriculture while returning much needed water to the environment,” Mr Baldwin said.

“The stocktake report provides certainty to all Basin governments and gives them the confidence they need to show bi-partisan support for this legislation.”

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The full stocktake report is available at http://www.mdba.gov.au/media-pubs/publications/independent-stocktake-of-sdl-adjustment-measures

A joint release from Basin Ministers can be viewed at http://www.mdba.gov.au/media-pubs/lgf-communiques

Media contact: Andrew Kos, 0402 742 206