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Coalition in denial on Murray River.

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KELVIN THOMSON Media Release from the Shadow Minister for Sustainability, the Environment & Heritage

Monday, 27 September 2004


The Coalition candidate for Mallee, John Forrest, claimed on ABC radio this morning that the Murray River is “in a good state” and that it is in “better condition than it used to be”.

Not according to the Howard Government’s State of the Environment Report.

Not according to the Interim Report of the Living Murray Scientific Reference Panel for the Howard Government’s Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council.

Not according to Professor Peter Cullen, the Prime Minister's 2001 Environmentalist of the Year winner, who said last year, “These are tough challenges for government and communities. But continuing to put off addressing them is not an option. We need to act to correct the mistakes of the past, and we need to do so urgently before they get worse”.

The Murray remains significantly affected by reduced flow and catchment pollutant sources such as land salinisation and erosion.

Reduced flows, degraded water quality and exotic pests continue to threaten the Murray’s aquatic ecosystems.

The Howard Government is out of touch with reality, the needs of country Australia and the state of the Murray.

Mr. Forrest’s outburst this morning shows yet again that when it comes to protecting our wonderful environment the National Party is clueless.

Let’s start with the truth, that’s the only way a sustainable future for the Murray, the Mallee and the rest of Australia can be brought about.

For Further Information: Kelvin Thomson MP Phone: 03 9350 5777 Mobile: 0419 594 882 Gavan O’Neill Phone: 03 9350 5777 Mobile: 0417 118 146