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.
13 Feb 2009
The Australian Greens welcomed the release today of a package of measures to fast-track water reform in the Murray Darling Basin.
The deal secured brings forward significant funds from the Commonwealth's Water for the Future program - including Water Buybacks and stormwater harvesting.
Importantly, it also commits $200M to community water planning - giving life to a concept put forward by the Australian Greens in a Minority Report to last year's Senate Inquiry.
02 Feb 2009
A new report on the state of Australia's Ramsar wetlands shows huge problems in the protection and management of our Ramsar wetlands, say the Australian Greens.
"In the face of drastic climate change, we need to be ensuring that our wetland areas are adequately monitored and protected, to support the unique ecosystems they provide. These are wetlands of international significance: if we can't protect these, then there is little hope for our other wetlands," said Australian Greens water spokesperson, Senator Rachel Siewert.
Senator Siewert made her comments on World Wetlands Day, following the release of the Ramsar Snapshot Study.
17 Dec 2008
A Federal Court ruling that will halt one of the world's largest zinc mines is a big win for Traditional Owners and for the environment, said the Australian Greens today.
"The McArthur River Mine should never have received Commonwealth approval - it is the direct opposite of the kinds of sustainable economic development that Northern Australia is crying out for," said Senator Rachel Siewert.
03 Dec 2008
The passage of the Water Amendment Bill through the Senate will not deliver the best outcomes for the future of the Murray Darling Basin, say the Australian Greens.
"The future health of the Murray Darling system is at stake here, and yet we are still seeing short-term parochial politics ruling in the face of dire circumstances," said Senator Rachel Siewert.
"Make no mistake - the Greens support basin reform - and we have fought all along to make it better and to make it happen sooner," she said.
02 Dec 2008
The Greens stand by the amendments, believing they are important, particularly in relation to the north-south pipeline-which Senator Minchin has been talking about-which we believe is a bad project. We do not believe that it is for the benefit of the basin and we do not believe it will deliver water for Melbourne, bearing in mind that the Murray-Darling Basin is in crisis, that we are reducing water supply and that we have to cut consumptive water use in the basin by between 42 and 53 per cent. The water that is being saved-once we prove that it is being saved-for the food bowl project should be going back into the Murray. There is no doubt in our or the community's minds that that water needs to be in the Murray.
02 Dec 2008
The Rudd Government need to see sense on the Commonwealth Water Act, and adopt reasonable amendments passed by the Senate, say the Australian Greens.
"I am dismayed at Prime Minister Rudd's attitude to the future security of the Murray Darling Basin," said Senator Rachel Siewert.
"Our leading scientists are warning that we need to significantly reduce water use within the Murray-Darling Basin in the face of a significant and serious reduction in projected levels of run-off as a result of climate change."
27 Nov 2008
Australian Greens spokesperson on Water, Senator Rachel Siewert, today welcomed cross-party support for amendments to the Water Bill enabling better Indigenous representation in the Basin plan, but pointed to the need for further work on cultural flows and Indigenous water rights.
"This is only the first step in achieving proper Indigenous representation in decision making about the Basin Plan," said Senator Siewert.
27 Nov 2008
The Greens, Coalition & independents have come together to unite in the need for immediate action on the Murray Darling Basin.
Senator Rachel Siewert (Greens spokesperson on water), Greg Hunt MP (opposition Environment Minister) & Senator Nick Xenophon (Independent) joined GetUp! National Director Simon Sheik in Canberra yesterday to call for Government action on the Water Bill and save the Murray Darling.
GetUp! presented the politicians with a petition signed by almost 50,000 Australians concerned about the Murray's future.
26 Nov 2008
Greg Hunt (Lib), Simon Sheik (GetUp), Rachel Siewert (AG) & Nick Xenophon (Ind) came together in Canberra to call for immediate Government action on the Murray Darling Basin.
26 Nov 2008
The Senate today passed more important, common-sense Green amendments to the Water Bill, enabling better management of water in the Murray Darling Basin, said Australian Greens spokesperson on water, Senator Rachel Siewert.