Groups call for ‘pause’
Community groups and businesses have joined forces to again call for the Basin Plan to be paused.
They issued a statement last week and are proposing a series of public meetings to seek community support.
The statement has been signed by several councils, including Edward River and Murray River Councils, and the Murray Regional Strategy Group which represents irrigator, community and Indigenous organisations. A total of 24 groups and businesses have signed it.
It says, “we call for an immediate pause to the Basin Plan”, stating a cooling off period would enable a comprehensive review of the plan to “restore confidence to those communities who live within the Basin and are most affected by its implementation”.
It says pausing the plan would “allow for a proper and timely assessment as to the effectiveness and outcomes of the plan”.
The statement goes on to say: “The current plan is not working. It is failing the environment and failing regional Australia. The Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s own website states that the aim of the plan is to ensure that water is shared between all users, including the environment, in a sustainable way. By any objective measure, this is not happening.
“The environmental failures have never been more evident and will only get worse. The socioeconomic failures are already being felt throughout the communities of the Murray-Darling Basin and will only become worse.
“Numerous independent reports have identified problems with the plan as a whole and aspects of its implementation. All have found serious and ongoing concerns regarding the impact of the plan on the environment and the regional and Indigenous communities who live in and depend on the Basin.
“To try and address these issues without appropriate analysis in order to meet an artificial ‘deadline’ is both wrong and disingenuous.
“Those elected to represent us in all parliaments and from all political parties need to look at the growing empirical evidence from all sectors affected by the plan and, for once, do the right thing by your fellow Australians.
“We urge you to commit to pausing and reviewing the Murray-Darling Basin Plan immediately,’’ the statement says.
Details of community meetings are expected to be release soon.