Basin Plan "Off the Rails"

As the deadline for public consultation on the draft Basin Plan draws near, twelve peak environmental groups, including Friends of the Earth, are increasingly frustrated that the Basin Authority seems unprepared to use the best-available science to fix the serious problems of the draft Plan. “Instead, they are persevering with a flawed process, incomplete data and limited modelling,” said Jonathan La Nauze, our Murray-Darling Campaigner.

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Scientists slam draft Basin Plan

When a group of highly respected scientists call for the draft Basin Plan to be thrown out completely, its time to start taking seriously the flaws in the process to restore our most important river system. Most significantly, the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists found there is no data in the draft on the amount of water actually needed to ensure the river's health – the whole point of the Basin Plan! This was just one of 5 key failings they outlined in their detailed and carefully considered analysis.

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Caucus Meeting: An excellent opportunity to talk to your MP

The entire Labor caucus has been ordered to an unprecedented weekend brainstorming session this Sunday 5th Feb. It is being touted as an opportunity for all 102 MPs to workshop policy ideas and strategies and in particular raise any concerns they have in their electorates with the PM and the cabinet directly. So – THIS WEEK is the best opportunity we have to get our message to each of our local federal members, so that on Sunday the government hears loud and clear from across the country that Australia wants a strong Basin Plan that restores the health of the river for future generations. Ringing or visiting your MP is easy and powerful – you can find talking points and background info here as well as search for your MPs details.

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Coal Seam Gas - a threat to Basin Rivers

In the last few weeks, the impact of Coal Seam Gas (CSG) mining on Murray-Darling Basin rivers has become a whole lot clearer - and a whole lot more worrying.

We commissioned independent testing of "treated" water being discharged from a Santos CSG mining operation in NW NSW. Toxic chemicals in the Bohena Creek just downstream from this discharge were excessively high - ammonia levels were 3 times the safe level for drinking water.

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Abseilers suspended on Hume Dam Wall with Huge Banner

In a protest this morning against the hopelessly inadequate draft
Murray-Darling Basin plan, activists have abseiled from the wall of the
Hume Dam outside Albury and suspended a giant 50 metre banner.

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draft Basin Plan released

On Monday, the draft Murray-Darling Basin Plan was finally released. Green groups around the country, including Friends of the Earth, have described it as a monumental failure. It recommends a measly 2750 gigalitres of water be returned to the environment and even their own modelling predicts this is not enough to restore the rivers and their ecosystems to health.

CSIRO released their independent report yesterday as well - which highlights five major failings fo the plan, including a failure to take into account the impacts on water availability of climate change.

What now follows is 20 weeks of community consultation - it is time to get our voices heard. This draft Plan is simply not good enough - and doesn't appear to meet the requirements of the Water Act 2007. But we can still turn this around - see how to get active here and find out more via the links below to the media coverage we've been getting.

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Abbott govt’s wind energy/health review unnecessary, a waste of taxpayer money

January 26, 2014

The Abbott government’s announcement of yet another review of wind energy and health is unnecessary and a waste of taxpayer money.

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Time for politicians to back Waubra townfolk after anti-wind group ignores community petition to reclaim name

17 December 2013

The anti-wind farm group, the Waubra Foundation, have rejected a community request to stop using the town’s name.

The petition signed by 316 residents and people with strong links to the town was delivered to the Foundation in November. The petition shows the community has made strong attempt to reclaim their name.

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Government sells out communities over mining reforms

December 13, 2013

Friends of the Earth media release.

Last night, the Lower House of Parliament passed the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Amendment Bill 2013 (MRSDA).

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Gelliondale coal mine proposal a test for state government

December 6, 2013

Friends of the Earth. Media release.

Gelliondale Resources, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ignite Energy Resources Limited, is currently applying for a Retention Licence to facilitate the development of the Gelliondale Coal Project in South Gippsland.

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