The Greens are calling on the South Australian Government to guarantee the state won’t lose a single gigalitre of water allocated to it under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan after a feasibility study into SA’s desalination plant showed the Liberal Party was gearing up to cut SA’s allocation.
Greens Spokesperson for Water Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:
“The feasibility study – released more than a year after it was conducted – shows the Liberals have been gearing up to cut SA’s River Murray allocation permanently.
“Cutting SA’s water would be devastating for our river system, environment and our community’s water supply. The South Australian Government must rule out any moves in this direction, immediately.
“A reduction in water flowing over the border risks the health of the entire river system. Cuts to South Australia’s allocation is bad news for the environmental health of the Murray-Darling from top to bottom.
“Has Minister Speirs forgotten he is the representative for South Australia’s water and environment, not big upstream irrigators?
“The study shows the desal plant is not effective, not good for South Australia, not good for taxpayers and not good for the environment.
“Not only will it never be a substitute for water flowing down the river, it is outrageously expensive to run. The desal plant will cost taxpayers in the vicinity of 40 times the market value of water.
“This would make Adelaide’s water the most expensive in the country, and we’d still have a dead river.
“The Federal Water Minister finally released the review in the Water for Fodder program today too and together with the feasibility study it’s clear a second round of this program should be ruled out.
“The Greens will move to disallow the Water for Fodder Program in the Senate when the Parliament sits later this month. SA’s water supply needs to be protected, and we cannot afford to lose 60GL more, so upstream farmers can get some water. It puts the whole river system in jeopardy and will cost taxpayers an absolute fortune.”