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.
The Age: All parties find fault with draft ''No one can have confidence in the plan under consultation because the authority has hidden from view the true volume of water that would actually protect the river.''
The Australian: $9bn Murray-Darling Basin buyback benefits will outweigh costs. Friends of the Earth's Murray-Darling campaigner Jonathan La Nauze said the plan took "a reckless attitude towards caring for the health of rivers".
ABC: Lower Murray remains at risk, say experts (a good summary of the various opinions) "It really sets it up for failure. It doesn't give the river back the water it needs. It's really set up for political appeasement but not for delivering robust reform" Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young on the plan
ABC UNLEASHED:(a great piece!) "If you want a textbook case of how not manage a river basin, the Murray-Darling Basin is probably it."
SBS: video coverage of the SA response: greenies, fishers and farmers gather together at the mouth of the Murray