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Action on wetlands needed now

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 7 Dec 2006

The release of the 2006 State of the Environment (SOE) report underlines Greens calls for an urgent review of the health and management of Ramsar-listed wetlands in Australia.

"Effectively what the SOE report says is that the excellent work on ecosystem restoration being done by volunteers is being undermined by the Government's failure to address the big picture policy issues of climate change and poor water management," Senator Rachel Siewert said.

"Recent reports from Gwydir, the Macquarie Marshes, the Coorong and the Lowbidgee Floodplain indicate that the situation in some of our most important wetlands is critical," Senator Siewert said.

"Australia has international obligations under the Ramsar convention to save these wetlands. Many are in such poor condition that they should be added to the Montreux Record for the management and conservation of listed sites whose ecological character is threatened. The Gwydir wetland should be Montreux listed immediately."

"I put these issues to the Minister yesterday, and he spent five minutes waffling about the National Heritage Trust - which if he read the SOE report he would have known is being undermined by his Government's lack of action on land and water management."

"Many of the nation's wetlands are critically threatened yet the Prime Minister is canvassing the option of draining them or not giving their environmental flows. This could be the final death knell for our national icon wetlands" said Senator Siewert.

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