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BCA spot on: water management, not scarcity, the problem.



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Australian Democrats Press Releases

Senator Andrew Bartlett Deputy Parliamentary Leader and Democrats Senator for Queensland Australian Democrats spokesperson for Environment & Animal Welfare

Dated: 18 September 2006 Press Release Number: cskxttuc Portfolio: Environment & Animal Welfare

BCA Spot On: Water Management, Not Scarcity, The Problem

The Democrats welcome the injection of sensible discussion to the water debate by the Business Council of Australia, instead of the knee jerk reactions that we are getting from some State Governments, Queensland Democrat Senator Andrew Bartlett said today.

"The BCA are spot on in their analysis that the issue isn't so much water scarcity but how we manage our water and that State Governments are supporting flawed solutions instead of sustainable solutions.

"Building new dams, for example, are costly and socially and environmentally destructive; the money could be better used to recycle storm water and effluent.

"Water pricing and water markets desperately need to be reviewed; however we would be wary about private ownership of water. Water availability is in the national interest, and we would be concerned about profiteering to the detriment of water users or the environment.

"The Democrats have also called for the National Water Initiative to cover urban water issues and for a national approach to water, including nationally consistent planning, regulations and pricing, and we welcome the BCA's advocacy in these areas.

"The reality is that the way we use water in Queensland can and does impact on water use and management in South Australia, due to interconnected river systems. We can no longer look at water in isolation.

"For too long the States have abused water. It is criminal that we only use water once and we continue to dump effluent and storm water into our oceans and rivers harming the environment.

"We need a National Summit on water involving Federal and State Governments and key stakeholders, and we need to act now before destructive solutions like building more dams are implemented," concluded Senator Bartlett.