Nov 29, 2006

Lots of money, but no water for the Murray

Lots of money, but no water for the Murray

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

29 November 2006

The Murray River is dying and the Howard Government won’t give it a drink.

In November 2003 the Government promised to give the Murray River 500 giga (billion) litres within five years under the Living Murray First Step program.

That promise was warmed up in the 2006 Budget when the Commonwealth Government committed $500 million to the same project.

Over three years, the Howard Government has committed $700 million to recover water for the Murray but, because of conflict between Ministers, hasn’t delivered a drop.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Water supports buying water from willing sellers to restore flows to the Murray – but the Minister for Agriculture opposes this.

The Murray Darling Basin Commission website states that, as of 6 November 2006, zero water has been recovered under the Living Murray Initiative.

See www.thelivingmurray.mdbc.gov.au/

The Howard Government has promised buckets of money, but hasn’t delivered a drop of water for the Murray River.

Climate change and water are the two sides of the same coin, and Australia desperately needs a strategy for both. Without a plan to cut Australia’s greenhouse emissions and address climate change, John Howard does not have a water plan.

Australia is facing the consequences of ten years of denial and inaction from the Howard Government over climate change and water.

Malcolm Turnbull might talk about climate change and water, but the reality is that he serves the great denier, John Howard.