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Greens call for national water summit.



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SENATOR RACHEL SIEWERT

Greens call for national water summit

Senator Siewert, Sunday 15th October 2006

Senator Rachel Siewert called today for Federal and State Governments to stop their pointless bickering and hold a national summit to address the water crisis.

"Australian Governments have had plenty of warning that we were in for desperate times," she said.

"They have wilfully ignored the experts and squandered the opportunity to respond to the impacts of reduced and unreliable rainfall."

"Because they were reluctant to make unpopular decisions they ignored the warnings."

"We went into a continuing drought still thinking it was OK to throw water at rice and cotton," said Senator Siewert.

"Even earlier this year the Agriculture Minister accused CSIRO of "scaremongering" when it warned of the likely consequences of climate change for the Murray Darling basin."

"Both State and Federal Governments are culpable. They should stop blaming each other and start taking on hard decisions," she said.

"Now the decisions are twice as hard and twice as urgent."

For more information or comment call Chris Twomey on 0407 725 025