The Australian Greens today accused the Prime Minister of being hypocritical in his approach to water.
"Mr Howard's attack on the states is laughable, given his 'pray for rain' approach to water management," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.
"The Prime Minister and his Government has for over 10 years presided over the decline of the Murray system, ignoring report after report of its drying conditions and choosing to act only at one-minute-to-midnight with an ill-conceived, back-of-the-envelope plan."
"His continued attack on Victoria is ridiculous, especially given that this year's budget allocates only a small fraction of the promised $10 billion and there are no moves in sight to actually return water to the Murray," said Senator Siewert.
"The plan was clearly an ill-disguised attempt to grab headlines and then get water off the agenda during an election year. As the background to the plan unravels the scheme is being exposed for the farce it is," she said. "No wonder he is angry that Victoria's holding out keeps attention focused on the plan."
"Now the National Water Commission report highlighting the high water consumption of rural towns relying on the Murray system further exposes the flaws in the government's plan, which contains no analysis of rural consumption and no consideration of demand management strategies and incentives," said Senator Siewert.
"Meanwhile nationally important wetlands are being drained, while the risk remains that their irretrievable sacrifice will be in vain, with much of the water simply wasted for want of a few simple conservation measures," she concluded.