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Macquarie Marshes water theft shows Commonwealth not ready to take over water management

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 25 Jun 2007

"The failure of the Howard Government to deliver on its responsibilities to protect Ramsar wetlands at Macquarie Marshes highlights its lack of capacity to take over the nation's water resources," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"How can the Commonwealth manage the whole of the Murray Darling Basin if they are unable to manage getting their environmental water from the dam to the marshes?"

The Inland Rivers Network today released its investigative report into the theft of environmental water from the Macquarie Marshes. Last week Senator Rachel Siewert alerted the Senate to much of the evidence contained in the report, after allegations of water theft were raised in a Senate inquiry chaired by Senator Siewert last year.

"Macquarie Marshes is a national icon."

"We have struggled for years to get a small proportion set aside for environmental flows."

"At a time when the wetlands are in crisis and this water could make all the difference in keeping core sections of the ecosystem alive, this theft is the worst kind of environmental vandalism," she said.

"Recent reports indicate that this theft is still continuing and that much of the recent rainfall is not getting through where it is most sorely needed."

"Malcolm Turnbull needs to act quickly to stop this environmental theft and ensure that these precious wetlands don't die of thirst when the water is already there to save them," concluded Senator Siewert.

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