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Urgent Senate Action to Save Murray

Media Release
Bob Brown 15 Aug 2008

The Australian Greens will move to set up an urgent Senate inquiry when Parliament resumes on August 26th, aimed at securing water for the Coorong and lower lakes of the Murray before Christmas, Greens Senators Bob Brown, Rachel Siewert and Sarah Hanson Young said today.

“The Coorong and lower lakes need a drink before Christmas. The water is there but the political will isn’t. When Governments fail to act, the people, through the Senate, must provide action,” Greens Leader Bob Brown said in Canberra today.

Senator Brown said the inquiry would report back by the end of September and that the Greens would urge the committee to visit the Coorong. The inquiry will investigate current water stocks and options for amending the Water Act to accelerate the purchase of water allocations and entitlements for the Coorong.

“Governments across four states and the Commonwealth are dithering while Australia loses the great RAMSAR-listed wetlands of the Coorong, and the entire social and economic fabric of the lower lakes and their communities have been thrown into turmoil.”

SA Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said, “There is a cry for help coming from the communities of the Lower Murray to save the Coorong. That’s a call that is being keenly felt by the river communities along the length and breadth of the Murray-Darling system.”

“They do not accept Senator Wong’s statements that the Coorong is lost.”

Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens water spokesperson said there was enormous goodwill in river communities upstream to contribute to a revival of the Murray River.

“We don’t want the federal government to simply hold a vigil for the death of the Murray”

“We need action now, and an emergency Senate inquiry can deliver that,” Senator Siewert said.

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