NSW moratorium on floodplain harvesting must be reinstated

The NSW Government is again putting the Murray-Darling river system in jeopardy by lifting the moratorium on floodplain harvesting before water from recent rains has made it down the river, and they should urgently reinstate it, the Greens say.

“When parts of the Darling are still dry, it defies logic that corporate upstream irrigators would be permitted to pump water and harvest floodplains, preventing precious flows from making it downstream,” Greens Water Spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“There are towns still without drinking water, dry catchments and storages, and there are fish facing species collapse being pulled out of the river to save their DNA, yet corporate irrigators are being allowed to cash in on the recent rainfall.

“The River belongs to all of us. We cannot have upstream Basin states making decisions that only benefit them and their corporate mates, at the expense of everyone else who relies on a healthy river system.

“Just last week we had NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey criticising Qld for allowing irrigators north of the border to access flows – it seems what’s good for the goose is good for the gander but only when it suits them.

“The moratorium on floodplain harvesting should be reinstated and if the states won’t do it themselves then the Federal Water Minister needs to.

“At a time when the river is on the verge of collapse, family farms, river communities and the environment need leadership in government, not another National Party fizzer doing the bidding of the big corporates.”

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