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Murray Darling report card should shock Government into action.

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Hou, Lucy (DPS)

From: York, Kathryn (DPS)

Sent: Monday, 23 June 2008 9:05 AM

To: Press Releases (DPS)

Subject: FW: Murray Darling report card should shock Government into action

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From: Norton, Tim (Sen R. Siewert) Sent: Thursday, 19 June 2008 1:20 PM Subject: Murray Darling report card should shock Government into action

Senator Rachel Siewert Australian Greens Senator for WA


Thursday 19th June 2008

Murray Darling report card should shock Government into action The Australian Greens today called on the Federal Government to speed up action to save the Murray  Darling system.

“The Government have now had two eye‐opening reports in as many days. It is obvious what is needed  now is a much more radical approach than the Government is currently planning,” said Australian Greens  Senator Siewert.

Senator Siewert was responding to the release of the first Murray Darling Commission system‐wide health  check - a report card on the ecological health of 23 river valleys that make up the Murray Darling system.  The report found ecosystem health of just one of the 23 regions studied was in ‘good health’ while 20 were  in poor or very poor health.

“Under the Government’s current approach, their much vaunted basin plan doesn’t come into effect until  2019. It is obvious from the information we’ve received in the last two days that the system will be gone by  then. Instead of fiddling around the edges of the current system, the Government should be requiring  changes to be made now rather than when water sharing and catchment management plans expire, like  they are expected to in Victoria in 2019.”

“We need a living plan for the river system in which all water extraction and use is accounted for, with  biophysical targets for key ecosystems and an ongoing system for monitoring and managing ecosystem  health,” said Senator Siewert.

“Time is running out for the Murray Darling. At the very least, we need an immediate release of water this 

winter to give the system a reprieve, alongside fast‐tracking of further water purchases. The Government  needs to be prepared to work with all stakeholders to create a new approach to land use and the way the  system is managed.”

“It will never be business as usual for the Murray Darling. We need to accept that and start working on  future effective plans. What is needed is nothing less than a fundamental change in the way we think about  the entire system,” she concluded.

For more information or comment call Tim Norton on 0402 077 721 Email |

Tim Norton Communications and Campaigns Office of Rachel Siewert | Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia | M: 0418 401 180 | | Electorate Office

1/151 Brisbane St Northbridge WA | P: 08 9228 3277 | F: 08 9228 4055 Canberra Office

Suite SG-31 Parliament House, Canberra ACT | P: 02 6277 3587 | F: 02 6277 5762

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