South Australia Minister for Water and the River Murray Ian Hunter
SA Water Minister Calls For Full Implementation Of Murray Darling Basin Package
Victor P Taffa
South Australia’s Minister for Water and the River Murray expects the Ministerial Council meeting on Friday to continue working toward implementing the Basin Plan package agreed in 2012, most importantly the full 450 gigalitres of water promised to sustain the river.
Health and sustainability of the Murray-Darling system is critical to South Australia, and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) scientific studies confirm that a minimum of 3,200 gigalitres p.a. must be returned to ensure the health of the river.
“The future of the Murray Darling River system is of critical economic, environment and social value to our basin communities and to all of South Australia.” Minister for Water and the River Murray Ian Hunter said.
Basin Ministers will be working together to deliver the implementation plan for the Murray Darling Basin which was required by the Prime Minister and Premiers at the last COAG meeting.
“River Murray is not only a crucial part of our economy but a place where South Australians holiday and play, an attraction for tourists and underpins drinking water supplies for South Australians.” Mr. Hunter said.
Murray Darling Basin Plan agreed in 2012 aims for water recovery outcomes equivalent to 3,200 gigalitres p.a. by 2024. This includes the extra 450 gigalitres negotiated by South Australia.
This water is needed to keep the Murray mouth open, to reduce salinity in the Coorong and Lower Lakes, and increase flows to Coorong to ensure the ongoing health of the internationally renowned RAMSAR site.
At December’s COAG meeting, Prime Minister Turnbull recommitted the Federal Government to delivering the Basin Plan and asked Ministers to present him with a plan that “Provide a credible and balanced pathway to implement the Basin package agreed to in 2012.”
Murray Darling Basin Plan is a coordinated approach to water management across the Murray–Darling Basin’s four states (South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland) and the Australian Capital Territory.
Council Of Australian Governments (COAG)