Responding to the release of the Second Water for the Environment Special Account (WESA) Report, Greens Spokesperson for the Environment and Water, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:
“This Report bells the cat – the Liberal-National Party have spent a decade ripping off both the taxpayer and the environment, failing to deliver water to the River and instead funnelling billions of dollars into bogus projects.
“Billions of dollars have been wasted on efficiency measures that would never, and as the Report states, will never, deliver the 450GL water needed and promised to save the River.
“This is a massive breach of faith to South Australians. The Plan was actively undermined for the last nine years by the last government who never intended on delivering the full Plan.
“The time for draining the River and the public purse is over. We need urgent action to return flows to the environment and keep the River alive. Anything short of the 450GL is unacceptable.
“My message to Minister Plibersek is: go and buy the water.
“Water buybacks must be reinstated immediately. Putting up the white flag is surrendering to big corporate irrigators. The Minister has tools in her toolkit to start returning large amounts of water to the system right now with voluntary buybacks.
“The only way to end the ‘water wars’ is to return the water to the River that it needs for the whole system to stay alive.”