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Ord River irrigation expansion needs careful planning: Greens

The Australian Greens today expressed their deep concern over expansion of the Ord River irrigation project in North Western Australia, following Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's announcement of funding under the Federal Government's infrastructure package.

"The Rudd Government need to stop and look at the bigger picture, before rushing into large-scale irrigation projects in Northern Australia," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

"We are in danger of rushing headlong into developing the north without heeding the lessons of the past, which have led to widespread loss of biodiversity and land and water degradation."

"Australians should not be convinced by the Prime Minister's rhetoric of expanding the food bowl, given that previous attempts to get this project up have failed, with the last two attempts based on single crop monocultures by corporations."

"What guarantee do we have that this area is not going to be used for cotton crops operated by corporate farmers?"

"Instead of rushing into developing infrastructure that may not be environmentally or economically sound, we should be investing wisely in truly sustainable agriculture and sustainable development of Northern Australia," she concluded.

For more information or media enquiries please call Tim Norton on 0418 401 180

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