Water

Meyer says plan is farce

By Country News

The development of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan lacks the research, science and scrutiny expected and will not provide the outcomes promised, the Speak Up Campaign says.

Speaking in response to evidence provided by a CSIRO research scientist at the South Australian royal commission into the plan, Speak Up spokesperson Vicki Meyer said it was time to take stock.

‘‘In past weeks we have had a former Murray-Darling Basin Authority scientist stating he had 30 minutes to come up with a water recovery number and a CSIRO scientist who claims the MDBA interfered with his research and compromised his scientific integrity. This is unacceptable,’’ she said.

‘‘Adding to the integrity issues at the MDBA is its absolute refusal to accept community damage from the plan.

‘‘I suspect even in the MDBA they know this is a botched plan that jumps from one crisis to another. But they’re all getting their massive bureaucratic salaries from the government’s $13billion pie, so it appears to become a ‘who cares about anyone else?’ scenario.’’

The group has called for a full audit of all environmental water, including effective research on how much is needed and how it is going to be delivered, with analysis of all water recovered before the basin plan from programs like The Living Murray and the National Water Initiative.

‘‘We also need to stop ostracising scientists who do not support the MDBA’s ‘just add water’ philosophy,’’ Ms Meyer said.

‘‘An effective plan would be looking at the quality of water delivery to achieve environmental outcomes, not a quantity based on rushed political timeframes, which is what we have.

‘‘The plan is a farce ... it’s a shambles. And as it rolls out we are sacrificing livelihoods and community wellbeing.

‘‘Successive federal governments should hang their collective heads in shame.’’