Fwd: Greens-Media: Rivers will die unless laws change

To: <>
Subject: Fwd: Greens-Media: Rivers will die unless laws change
From: "Lorne Johnson" <>
Date: Mon, 24 May 2004 12:00:12 +1000
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Subject: Greens-Media: Rivers will die unless laws change
From: "Paul Sheridan" <>
Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 16:14:46 +1000
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Media Release                                                      19 May,
Rivers will die unless laws change

Unless the Carr Government uses new laws, due to reach parliament in June, to 
guarantee rivers such as the Hawkesbury-Nepean enough water to keep them 
healthy, river systems will die and water quality will continue to decline, 
Greens MLC Ian Cohen said today.

"Permanent water restrictions will not be enough to save our rivers. Unless the 
government grabs a historic opportunity to guarantee rivers enough water to 
flow naturally, it could be a death sentence for our river systems.

"Iconic rivers, such as the Murrumbidgee, the Murray-Darling and the 
Hawkesbury-Nepean, are all suffering the effects of salinity, wetland draining, 
massive extraction for irrigation, and pollution - and the economic impacts are 

Mr Cohen said the government's proposed changes to the Water Management Act, 
due to be debated in parliament in early June, must include an increase in the 
amount of water set aside for the health of rivers if future problems are to be 

"The Hawkesbury-Nepean River Management Forum has said what many in the bush 
already know: there will be no future for our rivers unless we let them flow.

Mr Cohen said the frequency and size of harmful algal blooms would increase 
unless environmental flows are increased in river systems.

"Algal blooms in dams cost farmers more than $30 million per year, and in 
rivers, storage and irrigation channels about $15 million per year. This will 
only increase unless we act now to protect the health of river systems.

"The Carr Government's key challenge last term was to see that rivers received 
enough water to ensure their survival. Despite receiving millions of dollars 
from the Federal Government, it delivered less than one per cent additional 
environmental flows.

"Getting environmental flows back into our rivers is a necessity if we want to 
try and reverse some of this damage, and if we want to avoid a massive repair 

Further Information: Paul Sheridan, 0410 516 656

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