Government’s Gift to Irrigators will Kill the Darling River: GREENS
The NSW Environment Minister has just approved Water Sharing Plans that will enable floodplain harvesting licences to be handed out in the Northern Basin. Cate Faehrmann, NSW Greens MP and water spokesperson, says this is a gift for big irrigators in the northern basin and will spell the end of a healthy Darling-Baaka River and Menindee Lakes.
“The signing of these water sharing plans is a total disaster for the majority of communities in the Murray-Darling basin. The volumes of water these plans will see handed out are well above existing basin plan limits and will be environmentally, socially and economically disastrous for downstream communities,” said Ms Faehrmann.
“By approving these water sharing plans, the Government has essentially handed out hundreds of millions of dollars worth of water to wealthy irrigators in the northern basin for free, at the expense of the environment and downstream communities.
“Internal documents released to the NSW Upper House show the Environment Minister’s own department advised him the rules in these plans were totally inadequate to protect the environment. It is unforgivable that he has chosen to ignore their advice and sign these water sharing plans.
“By signing off on these water sharing plans, the NSW Environment Minister has just signed the death warrant for the Darling-Baaka River and Menindee Lakes and shown that the Liberal party has once again sacrificed the environment to keep its junior coalition partner on side,” said Ms Faehrmann.