Keith Duncan, Pimlico
Thank God this corruption-riddled Berejiklian/Barilaro government does not have a majority in the NSW upper house. Environmentalists in NSW have just breathed a huge sigh of relief when Labor, the Greens and other crossbenchers combined to vote down a second attempt by the government to legalise more and likely illegal ‘water harvesting’ in the stressed-out Murray/Darling (M/D) Basin.
The big irrigators (National Party donors), want the NSW Government to legitimise ‘floodplain water harvesting’. This involves the current practice of capturing water moving across their properties using levee banks and channels and diverting it into huge private dams before it even reaches the river.
The practice has been blamed for sharp falloffs of inflows into the entire M/D system and undermines the whole M/D basin plan. The Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists found that two trillion litres of water, enough to fill Sydney Harbour four-and-a-half-times, had simply ‘disappeared’ from the system since 2012.
Labor, the Greens and crossbenchers have launched an upper house inquiry into how this questionable practice has been allowed to proliferate over the last decade, after the Crown Solicitor has warned it was very likely illegal. What more can possibly be said regarding the appalling environmental practices of the NSW National Party and their Federal cohorts except this: only removing the cancer will save the patient.
The Indigenous People of the area, the Barkindji (river people) call the Darling River the Barka (river) – Ed