"Premier Beattie has made the only sensible decision that he could under the circumstances," Senator Rachel Siewert, the Greens spokesperson on water, said today.
"A vote on water recycling at this stage would have only reflected the strength of the political campaigns on either side of the issue. It would not have been decided on the science and need for water recycling," said Senator Siewert.
"The Queensland Premier was backed into a corner by the failure of his government to plan for the long-term sustainability and security of their water resources in the face of a drying climate," she said.
"There is currently so little quality public information about water quality and water science that a plebiscite on recycling would only show how little many Australians understand about the quality of our town water supplies," said Senator Siewert.
"Five months on from the farce in Toowoomba, the town is left with no options to meet its water crisis, and meanwhile the same forces were jockeying to politicise the water debate in south-east Queensland," she said.
The Greens have reiterated their call for the Commonwealth to back a full-scale recycling demonstration initiative -- to allow Australians to see for themselves the quality and safety of water produced by modern recycling technologies.
"Sooner or later other cities and other Premiers will have to confront this issue - the sooner they start planning, embrace water efficiency, substitution and recovery measures, the less likely they will find them selves forced to make hard and unpopular decisions," she concluded.