|Minister Rees: Part of the solution . . . or part of the problem?|
The reported response by the NSW Water Minister to the likely government purchase of Toorale Station will have caused many Australians to choke on their Vegemite soldiers this morning. One cannot help but deduce that Mr Rees lacks either the ability or the will to acknowledge the anthropogenic factors which have brought the Murray-Darling Basin to its knees.
The Minister is indeed correct in stating that the government purchase of Toorale will not relieve the current pressure on the Lower Murray. There is certainly an urgent need to act to save the Coorong, however Mr Rees failed to indicate that in purchasing this property, and hopefully several others thereafter, the Federal Government is seeking to address the root cause of the problem, for the long-term benefit of the Murray-Darling and its users.
Following the acquisition of large irrigation properties and the removal of their dams and diversions, annual inflows into the Darling will rise dramatically, promoting and sustaining the ecological revival that is so desperately required.
In attempting to link the purchase of Toorale with efforts to save the Coorong, the Minister appears to be demonstrating either a failure to comprehend or a desire to cloud the reasoning behind this important Federal Government initiative. In any event, doubts must now exist about his incumbency.
Fair Water Use asks Mr Rees to look to the future of the Murray-Darling as a whole and contribute to the solution, or resign and cease being a part of the problem.
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