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Government changes heart on water recycling

Rachel Siewert 28 Nov 2006

The Greens today repeated their call for the Government to fund a full-scale water recycling plant as part of a community education campaign on the science and safety of recycling.

"The government has not been genuinely interested in water recycling, as was evidenced by the fiasco in Toowoomba, where their actions forced the politicisation of the issue and led to a doomed referendum," said Senator Siewert today.

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Water and regional survival

On behalf of Senator Milne and I, I move:
That the following matters be referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee for inquiry and report by 30 June 2007:

(a) the long-term impacts on Australian primary producers, rural communities and the environment of reduced and increasingly variable rainfall, increased temperatures and higher evaporation rates as a result of climate change; and

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Water summit fails to deliver

Rachel Siewert 7 Nov 2006

"The Prime Minister's all-too-brief water summit today failed to deliver the outcomes needed to solve the water crisis," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

 

"They shied away from making the tough decisions at a time when urgent action was sorely needed" she said.

 

"We cannot simply trade our way out of this problem."

 

"Mr Howard suggested that they would consider raining wetlands as an emergency measure to ensure town water supplies. This is unconscionable."

 

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Water: people vs. the environment?

My question is to Senator Minchin, Minister representing the Prime Minister. Will the minister confirm a statement from a senior government source that, because it is important to look after people first, they will cut environmental flows so they can allocate more water to irrigators? How much water does the minister intend to take away from environmental flows to give to irrigators and is it true that they are considering draining wetlands to achieve this?

Answer

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Parliament House fails its own new water efficiency guidelines

Rachel Siewert 6 Nov 2006

"Parliament House is failing to make any headway on water and energy efficiency, but it still seems keen to tell individuals and businesses how they could do better," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

The release of DEH's Water Efficiency Guide: Office and Public Buildings comes hot on the heels of revelations at Senate Estimates proving that Parliament House now uses more water and electricity than ever.

"Minister Campbell should consider practicing what he preaches."

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Greens set the agenda for water summit

Rachel Siewert 6 Nov 2006

"It is highly likely that the Treasurer has underestimated the impact of continuing drought on Australia's agricultural production and effect on economic growth," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

ABARE released revised figures last week which further downgraded the forecasts for likely crop production. Crop production is expected to be 60% less that last year, with the gross value expected to be 16% less than that achieved during the drought of 2002-03.

"These ABARE figures do not take into account impact on summer crops," she said.

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Water buy back plan too little and too slow

Rachel Siewert 2 Nov 2006

"The plan announced yesterday by Malcolm Turnbull demonstrates a breathtaking level of ignorance of the scale of the problem and the need for urgent action," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

Turnbull's plan is to only buy back excess water from irrigators recovered through efficiency measures.

"The scheme is not capable of delivering anywhere near the amount of water now needed to save the Murray. It is too bureaucratic and far too slow."

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Water funding must be part of long term plan

Rachel Siewert 16 Oct 2006

"The $350 million promised by the Prime Minister today to assist farmers get through the drought must be part of a long term plan to address the sustainability of agriculture in our drying climate," Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

"We will be letting our farmers down badly if this money is not part of a package addressing how climate change impacts on water resources and agriculture," Senator Siewert said.

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Greens call for national water summit

Rachel Siewert 15 Oct 2006

Senator Rachel Siewert called today for Federal and State Governments to stop their pointless bickering and hold a national summit to address the water crisis.

"Australian Governments have had plenty of warning that we were in for desperate times," she said.

"They have wilfully ignored the experts and squandered the opportunity to respond to the impacts of reduced and unreliable rainfall."

"Because they were reluctant to make unpopular decisions they ignored the warnings."

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