New floodplain harvesting regulations gazetted today by the NSW Government will mean the end of the Darling-Baaka river and must be disallowed by the NSW Upper House next week, says Cate Faehrmann, Greens MP and water spokesperson.
“These regulations legalise the historic take of millions of litres of water that should have been sent downstream for communities and the environment and now will never get there,” said Cate Faehrmann.
“The Water Minister has just wilfully signed the Darling-Baaka river’s death warrant, it will be the final nail in the coffin for the Darling-Baaka river if it is not disallowed.
“Despite the ICAC finding that many government decisions over the past decade have been inconsistent with the Water Management Act and the priorities of water sharing plans, the Water Minister continues to act in the interests of her big irrigator mates.
“The massive volumes of water these regulations will permanently give to a handful of big irrigators in the northern basin while the Darling-Baaka faces ecological collapse is an absolute disgrace.
“The regulations also allow irrigators to take an unlimited amount of rainfall runoff which will be devastating for the Darling-Baaka river which relies on these flows.
“After a record flood event, dams in the north are near overflowing, while the Menindee lakes remain less than one-third full. These new laws will legitimise and make permanent this massive over extraction,” said Ms Faehrman.