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Government and Labor team up to sell out the Murray River and Victorian river communities

Media Release
Janet Rice 10 May 2018

“The government and Labor teaming up to cut 605 billion litres of water from the environment, sells out the Murray River and Victorian river communities,” says Victorian Greens Senator Janet Rice.

The Greens moved yesterday to disallow the regulation that will see 605 billion litres cut from environmental flows. Labor joined with the Government to allow these cuts to go ahead.

“To add insult to injury the Government is today rushing further cuts to the River through Parliament. The 70 billion litres previously saved for the environment are now being put back on the table, with the expectation that Labor will now backflip on this too.”

"In response, the Australian Greens will move to legislate the delivery of 450 billion litres of water long promised to strengthen the health of the Murray, but which has not yet flowed.

“The Labor-Liberal deal is a shocker. It sells out the red gum forests, traditional owners, river ecosystems, and our Victorian communities that rely on a healthy river,” said Senator Rice.

“The river system is slowly dying, meanwhile Labor and the government are happy to rip 675 billion litres from environmental flows and hand it to greedy corporate irrigators upstream.”

“In February, Labor joined the Greens to vote down the Northern Basin’s 70 billion litre environmental water cut, and indicated that they were also opposed to the 605 litre cut from the southern basin. Their backflip is a stab in the back for river communities that trusted their word.”

“I visited Swan Hill and the precious Nyah-Vinifera redgum forests this month and the locals I spoke to were extremely concerned that environmental flows would be cut, putting their towns, their communities, and their local economies at risk.”

“There are no jobs, no agriculture, and no thriving communities on a dead river, and that’s where it’s heading. If the government and Labor want to save the Plan and save the river, they’ll support the Greens in legislating the delivery of 450 billion litres to the environment.”

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