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Green MPs call for independent water authority.

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Green MPs call for independent water authority

Senator Siewert, 2nd February 2007

State and Federal Green MPs concerned with the Murray Darling Basin have joined voices to call for the establishment of an independent authority to manage water resources and to ensure the long-term health of the Murray Darling Basin.

In a letter to the Prime Minister and the Premiers of South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, the Green MPs advocated the adoption of the independent administrative model proposed by Professor Mike Young.

"A Board comprised of scientific and community leaders with proven water expertise who are free from political interference is clearly the best model," said South Australian Greens MLC, Mark Parnell.

"Given the crucial role played by independent authorities like the Reserve Bank and the ACCC, it is ludicrous for the PM to object to delegating this authority. If it is good for the economy, it should be good for water too," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

"To deliver long-term water security and ensure the health of the system we need to have a truly independent decision-making body," said NSW spokesperson Lee Rhiannon.

"Hard decisions need be made to tackle over-allocation by buying water entitlements to restore river health and save the Coorong," said Victorian spokesperson Greg Barber.

"The politics needs to be taken out of the Murray," said ACT MLA Deb Foskey.

Media Contacts: Senator Rachel Siewert - Chris Twomey 0407 725 025 Mark Parnell MLC (SA) - Craig Wilkins 0434 007 893 Greg Barber MLC (Vic) - 0433 044 771 Lee Rhiannon MLC (NSW) - 0427 861 568 Deb Foskey MLA (ACT) - Roland Manderson 0412 241 379

Signatories: Senator Bob Brown (Greens Tas) Senator Christine Milne (Greens Tas) Senator Kerry Nettle (Greens NSW) Senator Rachel Siewert (Greens WA) Mark Parnell MLC (Greens SA) Greg Barber MLC (Greens Vic) Colleen Hartland MLC (Greens Vic)

Sue Pennicuik MLC (Greens Vic) Ian Cohen MLC (Greens NSW) Sylvia Hale MLC (Greens NSW) Lee Rhiannon MLC (Greens NSW) Deb Foskey MLA (Greens ACT)

For more information or comment call Chris Twomey 0407 725 025