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South Australian Senator continues to ignore the facts

30 January 2019

A further tragic fish kill in the Lower Darling has had predictable responses from Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young and her acolytes.

National Farmers' Federation (NFF) Water Taskforce chair, Les Gordon said "the South Australian Greens Senator has again not let the facts stand in the way of her rhetoric."

"Senator Hanson-Young continues to try and gain notoriety by treading a dangerous and destructive line of sensationalised stories that suit her own agenda of making agriculture obsolete. Senator Hanson-Young ignores the fact that a key driver of fish deaths is water availability, which is scarce due to the drought. She sadly expects people to believe that the significant (around 90%) water levels in the Lower Lakes in South Australia is not linked to the quantity of water upstream. Finally she would have the community believe that water for some regions such as the Menindee can somehow be magically delivered to solve the problem."

The NFF on behalf of farmers across the Basin has today written to Senator Hanson-Young to try and help her understand the state of play in the Murray-Darling Basin. We look forward to her positive response.

The NFF has welcomed the prompt release of the Productivity Commission's five-year assessment of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. This report contains a number of robust recommendations that will undoubtedly improve the implementation of the plan.

"It is significant to note that halfway through the implementation of the plan the environment has already more than 2000 gigalitres of water available to it," Mr Gordon said.

"Recommendations from the Productivity Commission to strengthen the value of the environmental planning will further enhance environmental outcomes."

The NFF does not expect the imminent South Australian Royal Commission inquiry into the Murray-Darling basin to provide a lens on future opportunities for plan implementation.

It is more likely that it is an adventure into competing legal views on the status of the plan.

"We urge decision makers to not be distracted by those issues and instead focus on the issues of today and tomorrow, and that is delivering on the Plan that is bipartisan and has the support of the six governments who have a direct interest," concluded Mr Gordon.

Media Enquiries: Laureta Wallace
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