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Greens: Action is needed, before the Murray-Darling dies

In a joint press conference today at Parliament House, Australian Greens Senators Rachel Siewert and Sarah Hanson-Young renewed calls for urgent action on the Murray-Darling Basin.

"The figures released today in the Murray-Darling Basin Commission's Drought Update show the worst inflows on record for the river system. This clearly highlights the poor state of the Murray overall, and the need for urgent immediate action," said Senator Siewert.

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COAG writes-off the Coorong

The frenzy of COAG media announcements and back-slapping from State Premiers and the Prime Minister was curiously silent on the most pressing issue - the need to deliver an emergency water rescue package for the Coorong and Lower Lakes.

"This is a decision by omission" asked Senator Rachel Siewert this evening.

"COAG just announced a death sentence for the Coorong."

"Yesterday's announcement was another small and very expensive step down the road toward getting agreement on governance of the Murray Darling Basin."

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Agreement on Murray Darling needs a real 'tough decision'

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) will face an uphill battle to deliver an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) on the Murray Darling Basin that can actually deliver the reform and the water that is needed in time to save the river.

"The performance of Kevin Rudd's heralded cooperative federalism will be judged on whether it can deliver the water to the Murray by the end of winter to save the Coorong," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"We need the water now – not in 2019."

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Murray Darling & the Coorong

I rise to speak to the motion to take note of the response of the Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Wong, representing the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, to a question relating to the Murray-Darling river system. Today we had yet another report released on the health of the Murray. It should come as no surprise, to those of us in particular who have been watching the Murray, that it finds that only one of 23 river valleys of the Murray that were examined had good ecosystem health. Two had moderate ecosystem health.

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Darling deal, but devil's in the detail

Now that the fanfare of the announcement out of COAG of a 'historic' Murray-Darling Basin agreement has died down, it's time to look past the rhetoric and back-patting to ask what is in fact being delivered, how does this differ from Howard's previous water plan, and when will we see some real change for the better in the basin?

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MDB Authority needs independence from states: Greens

The so-called 'historic' water agreement is progress at snail pace and it is not true reform, Australian Greens Water Resources spokesperson, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

"Under this agreement the States can continue playing political games with our scarce water resources. The Murray-Darling Basin Authority must have true independence from the states to regulate water allocation," Senator Siewert said.

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Greens cautiously welcome MDB agreement

The Australian Greens cautiously welcomed the announcement today that Victoria would sign on to a new Murray Darling Basin agreement.
"This is important progress towards getting a basin-wide approach," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"Creating a new independent water management body could be a crucial step forward in tackling our water sharing problems in the basin, but it is absolutely crucial that we get the detail right," she said.

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