The Coalition has had six years in government and instead of implementing the Murray Darling Basin Plan to ensure it’s managed in the worst times, it’s completely messed it up. The Water Minister claims he can’t make it rain therefore he can’t do anything to help. The Environment Minister says she can’t do anything to look after the environment. This is a total cop-out!
Our river is in crisis, small family farms are suffering and a growing number of River communities don’t even have clean water to drink. There is plenty the Minsters can do, and they must act now. Failing to crack down on those exploiting the water market or harvesting flood-plain water upstream will make the crisis facing the River and farmers worse.
Summer is looming and if the Government doesn’t act we will see more mass fish-deaths and more family farms in crisis. No longer is this a debate about farmers versus the environment, it is the big corporates versus everyone else - family farms, river communities and the environment.
Water Minister David Littleproud must act to reign in the unconscionable conduct in the water market and immediately impose a moratorium on water trading by non-water uses. With less water available in the system due to drought and climate change it is also time for a moratorium on new permanent plantings, while an independent audit of all water licences is conducted.