Water and Murray Darling Basin
We know how crucial the Murray Darling Basin is for Australia’s food production and economy. We support reforms that will keep the system healthy all the way up from the Murray Mouth, wind back the over-allocation of water and restore precious ecosystems so they can keep sustaining Australia.
The Greens want to see reforms that will assist all Basin communities to build their jobs and economies and restore our internationally recognised wetlands and productive agricultural areas to good health. We recognise that this is one of the key reforms facing Australia over the next decade and we have to get it right.
We support the National Water Commission as an independent authority to oversee this process, and want to see all of their functions maintained. This includes the important work they have been carrying out in assessing the National Water Initiative, in particular on water reform related to mining. The Commission has been a strong voice for the protection of water from mining related activities.
We believe that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must have the opportunity to participate in water catchment planning and management, and there should be no new large-scale dams on Australian rivers.
26 Nov 2009
The Senate today passed an Australian Greens motion calling on the Commonwealth to demand NSW delays finalisation of the Snowy Water License Review while environmental water releases are addressed.
"This must be done to avoid the risk of unnecessary compensation," Australian Greens Water Spokesperson, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
"Delaying the review by six months will allow the Snowy Scientific Committee to review the environmental benefits of permitting releases from Mowamba Weir, in order to make a decision on this issue during the time of the Review.
"If this does not happen, we face the real risk that compensation from the public purse may need to be paid to Snowy Hydro down the track.
26 Nov 2009
That the Senate
- Notes the failure of the NSW Government to establish the Snowy River Scientific Committee in a timely fashion prior to the first Five-Year Review of the Snowy Water License (as required by the legislation);
- Notes that a decision on whether to allow environmental water to be released to the Snowy River from Mowamba weir in addition to Jindabyne Dam would require at least six months to allow the Snowy Scientific Committee to complete further studies as required;
- Notes that if a decision to amend the License to allow environmental water releases via Mowamba Weir as well as Jindabyne Dam is made after the finalisation of the Snowy Water License review this could result in substantial compensation needing to be provided to Snowy Hydro Ltd;
- Calls on the Commonwealth Government to insist that the NSW Government delay finalisation of the Snowy Water License Review for at least six months, to allow the Snowy Scientific Committee to review the environmental benefits of permitting releases from Mowamba Weir, in order to make a decision on this issue during the time of the Review and thus avoid the risk of unnecessary compensation.
Question agreed to.
19 Nov 2009
The Australian Greens say World Toilet Day is an opportunity to highlight the importance of world-wide sanitation.
"It is shocking that 2.5 billion people worldwide are without access to proper sanitation. This risks their health, strips their dignity, and kills 1.8 million people, most of which are children, every year," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.
"Today is World Toilet Day, which some think is funny, but the number of deaths and suffering as a result of poor sanitation is a sobering reminder that more is needed to reduce suffering around the world."
18 Nov 2009
- That the Senate notes:
- Thursday 19th November 2009 is World Toilet Day - a day to celebrate the importance of sanitation and raise awareness for the world's population who don't have access to toilets and proper sanitation;
- 2.5 billion people worldwide are without access to proper sanitation, which risks their health, strips their dignity, and kills 1.8 million people (mostly children) a year;
- lack of proper sanitation is the world's biggest cause of malnutrition and infection, causing diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid and worm infections that kill 5,000 children each day;
- clean toilets contribute to poverty eradication by protection one's health and ability to work;
- safe collection and treatment of human waste and other various wastewaters protects drinking water sources and eco-systems, creating clean and healthy living environments, particularly in urban areas;
- the Millennium Development Goals (supported by all parties in the Australian Parliament) cannot be reached unless sanitation conditions are rapidly improved;
- the upcoming Global Framework for Action on Water and Sanitation meeting in Washington April 2010 is the opportunity for global support of the sanitation policy leadership of the UK, Dutch and Australian Governments;
- And calls upon the Government to;
- invest via its aid program in programs and projects aimed at improving sanitation levels, increasing the number of public toilets, and improving their cleanliness and accessibility;
- ensure that the Australian Government plays a constructive, proactive role at the Global Framework for Action on Water and Sanitation meeting in Washington April 2010, and;
- report the proportion of development aid spent on sanitation.
17 Aug 2009
"The sale of cotton property Cubbie Station in Southern Queensland must force Federal Water Minister Penny Wong to address the appalling state of Australia's water laws," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.
"A Federal purchase of the property would only serve to reward the bad behaviour of the owners, who have long exploited Queensland's inadequate approach to water management, intercepting floodplain flows and depriving other farmers and the environment downstream."
The Greens believe that a complete overhaul of Queensland's water regulations is needed before any Federal buy-up should take place.
10 Aug 2009
Moves to more than double the number of coal-fired power stations in Collie within the next four years reveal the utter lack of leadership by the old parties on climate change, the Australian Greens say.
28 May 2009
The Australian Greens today welcomed the announcement of the Twynam water buyback as a positive outcome for the environment, but stressed that water buyback was only one part of the solution to sustaining the community and the environment in the Murray Darling Basin.
"This is a significant step to addressing over-allocation that will help deliver more water to manage and restore river health," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.
28 May 2009
ENVIRONMENT, COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS REFERENCES COMMITTEE
Senator SIEWERT-With respect to the issue of the Basin Plan, I noticed comments in the media around having to rely on not necessarily robust science to do some of the planning. Will the demise of Land & Water Australia and their work on environmental flows make a difference to your planning activity in developing the Basin Plan?
07 May 2009
The Australian Greens today condemned moves by the Rudd Government to shut down the Land and Water Australia (LWA) rural research and development corporation, saying it was more evidence that they were "totally clueless" on natural resource management and sustainable agriculture.
"Land and Water Australia are one of the very few sources of funding for essential research into tackling some of Australia's biggest environmental problems and engaging farmers in managing the health of our soil, water and remnant native vegetation," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.
"Shutting down LWA will cut the legs out from under a whole string of ongoing research projects where LWA is one of the funding partners."
07 Apr 2009
Desalination is not yet proven as a viable, sustainable option. The effects on our environment can be horrendous (and permanent). The people over at Get Real on Climate Change have put together a great campaign against the proposed Victorian Desalination Plant.