Nov 6, 2006

Water Summit

Water Summit

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

6 November 2006

The timing of tomorrow’s hastily convened water summit suggests the Prime Minister is more concerned about politics than water or climate change.

The summit is being held on the same day as the Melbourne Cup and the Reserve Bank’s meeting over interest rates.

With only 48 hours notice, John Howard has summoned Premiers to discuss problems he has either ignored or been sceptical about for 10 years.

On 28 August 2006, John Howard stated he was “sceptical about a lot of the more gloomy climate change predictions”, but yesterday called a summit to discuss the gloomy state of the Murray River.

On 27 September John Howard said he “wasn’t interested in what might happen in fifty years time”.

The fact is, climate change is cutting water flows in the Murray Darling Basin right now.

In a Report released today, the CSIRO predicts temperatures across NSW will be 6.4°C higher and rainfall will be cut by up to 40% because of climate change.

Without a plan to cut emissions and address climate change, John Howard does not have a water plan.

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

Not a single drop has actually been returned as a result of the Living Murray First Step program.

The Howard Government has promised buckets of money, but has stalled at the barrier when it comes to delivering water for the Murray River.