Sunday, 10 October 2010

River, Lakes & Coorong Action asks: Can we afford not to act?

Media Release: Can we afford not to act? 8 October 2010

The River, Lakes and Coorong Action Group Inc (RLCAG) welcomes the release by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) of the much-anticipated Guide to the draft Basin Plan (8 October 2010).
‘There has been a great deal of speculation regarding the content,’ says Professor Diane Bell, Chair of the RLCAG, ‘and we are delighted that the MDBA acknowledges a healthy river system is in the national interest.

‘It is our position that pitting economic interests against those of the environment is not in the national interest. It is only by restoring the river to health and setting the sustainable diversion limits with due consideration to our variable climate that we will be able to enjoy all that the Murray-Darling Basin offers us in terms of economic, cultural, spiritual, ecological values.

‘The MDBA Plan process is a unique opportunity for Australia to become a world leader in wise water use and stewardship of a major river system.
  • We have had good rains.
  • The country is beginning to recover.
  • We have good modelling of what is needed to maintain a healthy system.
  • We have seen the consequences of mismanagement.
  • We know we are an ingenious, creative nation and many of our farmers have already retooled for the changed conditions.
‘But, we cannot ask those whose lives and communities will be fundamentally transformed by reduced allocations and buy backs to cope alone. We cannot and should not leave it to the market to establish the conditions under which their lives will now be lived.

‘Until now it has been the river that has borne the brunt of our unwillingness to acknowledge that the River is not the Magic Pudding.

‘Now we need to see proper planning and that will come from a whole of government response that demonstrates commitment to the objects of the Water Act 2007.

Do we have the courage, vision and knowledge to act? Can we afford not to act?’

Diane Bell, 
Chair, RLCAG
0427 554 194
Keep our waters alive!
ABN 23 590 559 324
PO BOX 307, Strathalbyn, SA 5255
Mobile: 0427 554 194
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