At short notice, representatives of Healthy Rivers Ambassadors and Conservation Council of South Australia scrambled to get to a meeting with Shadow Water & Environment Minister Tony Burke last Friday morning to discuss the upcoming Federal Senate vote on 8 May. It was a very positive meeting, with Tony encouraging us to continue our campaign calling for improvements to the Basin Plan before the proposed 605 GL reduction in the water recovery target can be approved.
Tony agreed with us that the efficiency projects to deliver 450 GL for additional river health benefits need to be sped up and their delivery should be tied to any agreement to the proposed Plan amendment. The supply projects which are intended to deliver environmental outcomes from 605 GL less water should also be subject to rigorous evaluation to ensure they can in fact deliver the projected benefits.
Tony has a very clear and extensive understanding of the Basin Plan and all the twists and turns in its history, having been the Minister in charge of getting the Plan signed back in 2012. He is fighting hard to negotiate the best possible outcome for the future of the Plan and will be negotiating right up to the vote.
Our lobbying campaign leading up to the Senate vote is on the right track and will support the efforts of many concerned politicians trying to get the best outcome!