JOINT STATEMENT: Nature Conservation Council of NSW | Environment Victoria | Conservation South Australia
State conservation councils today congratulated Labor on its five-point plan to revive the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, saying it was a refreshing change after years of the Coalition seeking to undermine and destroy the plan.
"Labor's announcement and five-point plan is an important step towards putting the vitally important Murray-Darling Basin Plan back on track and restoring integrity to water management,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said.
"It’s so refreshing to see steps towards reviving our rivers after years of the Coalition undermining and destroying the Murray-Darling Basin Plan for the benefit of a handful of big irrigation concerns.
“The commitment to deliver 450 gigalitres of water is vital if we are to meet the targets of the plan, which, according to the science, is a bare minimum needed to save rivers, wetlands and sustain river communities.
“Re-establishing the National Water Commission, publishing data and modelling, investing in science, and increasing compliance funding are all vital to restoring public confidence in water management after years of scandal and secrecy.
“The commitment to increase First Nations' water ownership is long overdue and would rectify a broken promise made by the current government and deliver some justice for historical wrongs.
“The review of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan will occur over the next term of federal government. Today, Labor signalled it has a holistic vision for a healthy river system."
Environment Victoria CEO Jono La Nauze said: “The public needs to know whether the Coalition’s water policy will continue to be dominated by the National Party whose track record has been to undermine the integrity of the plan at every opportunity, leaving a stench of mismanagement and corruption.
“Australians who care about the health of our rivers are saying 'bravo' today, as Labor takes an important first step towards reviving our rivers and river communities."