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Caution needed on northern water mirage

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 19 Feb 2007

The Greens have urged all sides of the water debate to take a deep breath before committing the country to a continuation of the same mistakes that have created the national water crisis.

"Premier Beattie has exhumed an idea which should just stay buried - that of diverting tropical rivers to feed southern agricultural projects. Premier Beattie should note that a similar idea probably cost the Western Australian Coalition opposition any chance of winning the last state election in 2004," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

"Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan has also cautioned against Premier Beattie's radical mega-engineering proposal. Unfortunately he prefers the idea of shifting Australia's farming communities to the north.

"I fear that this is code for broadscale cotton and sugar monocropping, which is environmentally harmful and employs very few people. I don't understand how Senator Heffernan intends to move southern farming communities into entirely different northern ecosystems and expect people to survive."

"The Greens believe there is a viable future for farming in Southern Australia, provided adaptation to climate change is taken seriously. We do not support a panicked stampede to the north," concluded Senator Siewert.

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