Country Greens reject water plan

“I’m afraid its more of the same, business as usual, despite the terrible state of Victoria’s northern rivers, and increased threats from climate change” said Louis Delacretaz, Convenor of the Country Greens Victoria Network at their Annual General Meeting on Sunday 7th December at Mooroolbark Community Centre.

He was commenting on the Draft Sustainable Water Strategy Northern Region prepared for the Victorian Government by the Department of Sustainability and Environment, and the motion just passed condemning it by the Country Greens.
The motion said the strategy sets the wrong direction for management of water resources and the environment for the next 40 years in Northern Victoria.
The Country Greens Victoria Network rejected the draft document and called for it to be completely re-written to develop ways of improving river and floodplain health, and conserving diminishing groundwater reserves. 
“If we, as a community, accept this as the plan for the next 40 years northern rivers like the Campaspe and the Coliban are doomed. The Draft Strategy itself makes this clear. The proposed ‘review’ in 2019 will be totally academic. It will be a wake,” said Mr. Delacretaz.
“We all know these rivers, and their life sustaining floodplains need help now. This document makes no attempt to systematically address over-allocation or revitalize the northern rivers. It shows Mr. Brumby’s government is locked into the very system that has reduced our rivers to their current state of ill health,” Mr. Delacretaz said.
“The Draft Strategy says all ‘users’ of water should share the risks associated with climate change, but then proceeds to show how the environment must bear the brunt of the burden. Whilst consumptive users will be down 10% under the scheme, the environmental flows will be down 49%. It seems that all users are equal, but some are more equal than others…”mused Mr. Delacretaz.
“It points to a fundamental mistake. The environment is not a ‘user’ of water, a stakeholder. It is the provider of all water, and as such it must be protected,” he said.
“What we need is fresh thinking, an integrated approach where communities are listened to. Communities love and need their rivers. This strategy, if implemented, will lead to their destruction” Louis Delacretaz said.
For more information contact: Louis Delacretaz: 0407 300 188
Wendy Radford, 2009 Country Greens Victoria Convenor, : Phone 54 395 339

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