MDB Authority needs independence from states: Greens

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The so-called 'historic' water agreement is progress at snail pace and it is not true reform, Australian Greens Water Resources spokesperson, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

"Under this agreement the States can continue playing political games with our scarce water resources. The Murray-Darling Basin Authority must have true independence from the states to regulate water allocation," Senator Siewert said.

"The gross over-allocation of the system must be addressed immediately, yet water sharing plans remain in place until 2019. Here we have the PM and states congratulating each other on a plan that leaves the current mess in place until 2019."

"Scientists say that the Murray needs at least 3500 gigalitres to have a good chance to return to health and scientists have estimated that climate change could reduce the volume of water in the basin by up to 30% by 2050. Australia cannot afford to wait until 2019 for water reform," Senator Siewert said.

"The Greens moved amendments to improve this legislation when it was introduced by the Howard government and we will try again to ensure the health of the Murray-Darling Basin," Senator Siewert said.