THE Federal Water Minister must force the NSW and Queensland governments to urgently invoke their powers and embargo the cotton industry’s water extraction from the Murray Darling Basin after widespread fish deaths.
The federal and state governments must act to stop over extraction, and lift the freeze on environmental water buybacks.
The Liberal National Party is trying to blame this on drought when in fact it is cotton, corruption and climate change killing these fish and our river. We should be putting people and the environment before big corporate cotton growers.
Greedy cotton farmers upstream are still storing water and irrigating their crops. We are watching this river die along with the hundreds of thousands of fish floating along the banks of the lower Darling.
There was a 1000km algal bloom in 1991 and we did not see mass fish death at this scale. This is the clearest demonstration of what happens when a political culture of robbing the environment for corporate interests goes unchecked.
We are spending $13 billion on the Murray Darling Basin Plan and it has failed at the first drought. This is the consequence of terrible mismanagement by all levels of government.
Senator Sarah Hanson-Young,
Greens environment and water spokesperson
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