Labor and the crossbenchers should disallow the ecologically unsustainable and socially inequitable floodplain harvesting regulations that outgoing Water Minister Melinda Pavey rushed through last Friday. 
“These rotten regulations, virtually Ms Pavey’s last act as Water Minister, will leave a wretched legacy if they are allowed to stand,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Jacqui Mumford said.
“Ms Pavey promised to listen to river communities and to carefully consider the recommendations of the parliamentary inquiry into floodplain harvesting. She did neither.
“The regulations gazetted on Friday are virtually identical to those rejected twice by the parliament already this year. They were wrong then and they are wrong now. They must not stand.
“We call on Labor and the crossbenchers to stay true to the principles of ecological sustainability and social justice to which they referred when they disallowed the regulations twice before.
“The government doesn’t even know how much water is being taken and what effect that level of unauthorised take is having on downstream users and the environment.
“But rather than wait and use the most up-to-date data, the government has recklessly rushed to issue billions of litres of new water licences that benefit a very small number of landholders.”