Just reminding everyone particularly Australian Senators that voluntary buybacks from irrigators should be applied
where greatest environment, social & enviromental benefits will be achieved. The Northern Murray Darling Basin rivers are dying.
DEG's Walgett River ranger project regularly reports algae blooms and low river levels at Walgett. This means poor water quality, no river foods, no drinking water. More flows are needed.
Dying rivers at Walgett are an existential threat for Dharriwaa Elders Group.
Actions that will deliver ACTUAL water to PROTECT flows from the tributories of the Baawan / Baaka must be supported. TO END OF SYSTEM. NSW Water Sharing Plans do not require end of system flows.
Water for the Environment Special Account (WESA) funds must enhance enviromental outcomes for the Basin & should go to communities like Walgett who suffer from irrigation - NOT GO TO IRRIGATORS!
Senators please ensure that the Restoring our Rivers Bill that is before you at the moment and that you will be examining in a Senate Inquiry this week (from 30/10/23) squeezes as much as possible for where the environmental needs are greatest. With a positive Labor Government with the Australian Greens, this might be the last chance for the rivers to benefit from the current Murray Darling Basin Plan.
Delivering water to the Coorong & mouth of Murray should not be the main KPI being used for the health of the Basin - so AMENDMENTS ARE REQUIRED. The focus on the Southern Basin needs to be changed, as it suggests that Parliament is abandoning the Baawan Baaka to ecological collapse, abandoning Northern Rivers to cotton who "want it all". DEG won't believe this. If more enviromental water is applied in the Northern Basin & flows are protected by stronger compliance powers given to the Inspector General for Water Compliance the whole Murray Darling Basin should benefit.
Our picture shows Bow Simpson lugging water for DEG Elders Centre. Remember every bottle of water we have to buy is a cost imposed by cotton industry & its govt. enablers because the Northern rivers can no longer supply our drinking water. He & son Dane Simpson highlighted the crisis on the Amazing Race Celebrity Edition recently.
DEG asks Senators to remember this & don't be fooled by those arguing that our community will be injured by water buybacks! The opposite!! Besides - Walgett ACCOs employ far more in Walgett than cotton ever did. What do they ever do for Walgett?
DEG appeals for Green and Labor Senators to fight for the rivers & communities and amend the Restoring our Rivers Bill 2023 accordingly. Our brief submission.