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Water plan not thought out - Senate Estimates

Rachel Siewert 14 Feb 2007

Government unable to justify water numbers

"Senate Estimates last night saw the Government unable to provide the reasoning to justify the costs and estimated water returns for the PM's $10 Billion water plan," said Senator Siewert this morning.

"We asked repeatedly if they could provide the figures and the evidence - they couldn't."

"Officials confirmed last night that there are no new environmental targets and the Government is obviously relying on rubbery figures for estimated environmental returns," she said.

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Premiers must fix water plan before signing

Rachel Siewert 8 Feb 2007

"State Governments should not sign up to Howard's water plan today," said Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on water resources.

The Greens are urging State and Territory leaders not to sign away their powers over water until they've made sure the plan will actually deliver.

"It is essential that the Premiers make sure the hard decisions are made before they sign on the dotted line," said Senator Siewert.

"The plan has been cobbled together without priorities, targets and timelines. Right now it has more holes in it than a sieve," she said.

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Premiers pour cold water on PM's plan

"I'm pleased to see that the Premiers have resisted pressure to make a snap decision on this complex issue," said Senator Siewert today.
"I urge them to keep the pressure on Mr Howard to do the homework he should have done before rushing to announce his big spending plan," she said.
The Greens renewed their call for the Prime Minister to make the planning process transparent and accountable, and to release details of priorities, targets and timelines for public scrutiny.

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Costello lets the cat out of the bag on water

Rachel Siewert 5 Feb 2007

"Treasurer Peter Costello has let the cat out of the bag on the real strategy behind the PM's water plan," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"The fact that the whole $10 Billion plan was contingent on the Premier's signing away State rights was always Howard's key wedge, but the unspoken subtext was that the States wouldn't sign on and the money would never need to be spent," she said.

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Rann is on the right track on water

Rachel Siewert 1 Feb 2007

Senator Rachel Siewert today welcomed calls by SA Premier Mike Rann for an independent authority to manage water reform in the Murray Darling Basin.

"A truly independent decision-making body free from political interference is the key to achieving effective water reform and delivering long-term water security," said Senator Siewert.

The Greens have been calling for the establishment of such an independent authority since last year. Premier Rann's comments echo the model being proposed by SA water expert Wentworth group scientist Professor Mike Young.

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Beattie's water recycling decision was inevitable

Rachel Siewert 29 Jan 2007

"Premier Beattie has made the only sensible decision that he could under the circumstances," Senator Rachel Siewert, the Greens spokesperson on water, said today.

"A vote on water recycling at this stage would have only reflected the strength of the political campaigns on either side of the issue. It would not have been decided on the science and need for water recycling," said Senator Siewert.

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PM's water plan won't fix the real problems

"The Commonwealth's new approach to fixing our water crisis is a farce," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"The Prime Minister is proposing a simple recipe in an election year - pick a fight with the states over control of water, splash lots of money around on infrastructure, but do not face up to the hard and politically confronting decisions needed to address over-allocation," she said.

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Independent authority needed for water reform

Rachel Siewert 24 Jan 2007

The Greens are calling on the new Minister for Water, Malcolm Turnbull to set up an independent authority to oversee water resource reform in the Murray Darling Basin.

"A truly independent decision-making body free from political interference is the key to achieving effective water reform and delivering long-term water security," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

Senator Siewert welcomed Mr Turnbull's announcement that he intends to make water conservation a priority, but expressed concern that unless a new approach is taken his words will be empty rhetoric.

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Rudd must deliver States for water reform

Rachel Siewert 22 Jan 2007

"We won't get true water reform until both State and Federal governments stop making short-term political decisions on water and face the fact that desperately hard decisions are needed in the face of the impacts of a drying environment and climate change," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"The last Water Summit was a joke. A few hours were spent on Melbourne Cup day hosing down public concerns, but no serious long-term commitments were made and no real outcomes have been delivered to date," she said.

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