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Water Bill falls short

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 14 Aug 2007

"The Water Bill won't save the Murray Darling system unless key amendments are made," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

The Australian Greens tabled a minority report this evening on the Senate Inquiry into the Water Bill 2007, which was conducted over a single day last Friday.

"There is nothing in the legislation which guarantees speedy action in implementing the Basin cap and the environmental watering plan," said Senator Siewert.

"In fact there is a long delay before the Basin Plan comes into operation, and the Bill fails to guarantee any environmental outcomes."

"Action on water under the Bill may be too little too late to save the river."

"We need to set a robust and ecologically sustainable limit on diversions," said Senator Siewert. "This is why the Greens are seeking to amend the Bill."

The Greens will also seek provisions to ensure that the proposed Murray Darling Basin Authority is responsible for regularly and systematically monitoring river health.

"In its current form this legislation does not adequately deal with the threats posed by climate change and the need to protect and enhance the resilience of ecosystems to bounce back from drought and to cope with a drying and highly variable climate," she concluded.

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