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Prime Minister fails on healthy Murray guarantee: $500 million will not succeed: Brown.

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Bob Brown, Senator for Tasmania

Friday, 29 August 2003

Prime Minister Fails on Healthy Murray Guarantee: $500 million will not succeed: Brown

Today's COAG meeting failed its biggest test on rivers - to agree on a guaranteed 'environmental' flow for the Murray-Darling river system.

"The untargeted $500 million fund for the river will fail to save the rivers without the guaranteed flow," Greens Senator Bob Brown said in Canberra

"It is a failure of understanding and leadership by Prime Minister Howard.

"The health of the rivers, their redgums, marshlands, and waterbirds depends on a guaranteed flow but there is none.

"Mr Howard's market fundamentalism is to set up a rights trading system for the irrigators and miners, but leave the environment to unspecified future political action.

"This will become much harder because of the Howard-Bush indifference to global warming which could cut the Murray's flow by 40% this century.

"Australians wanted a commitment to healthy rivers today.

"They did not get it either from Mr Howard or the Labor leaders involved," Senator Brown said.

More information: Ben Oquist 02 6277 3170 or 0419 704 095

Ben Oquist Adviser to Greens Senator Bob Brown 02 62773170 ph 02 62773185 fx