$100m to Revive our Rivers, new campaign urges

An estimated $100 million would buy back enough water for the environment to throw a lifeline to Murray-Darling Basin rivers and get the Basin Plan back on track, new analysis by the Lifeblood Alliance has found.

“The Basin plan is currently 47.5 billion litres short of the legal water recovery target, a volume of water that could easily be bought using unspent money from the Murray-Darling Basin Plan,” Life Blood Alliance spokesperson Bev Smiles said.

“For less than $100 million we could go a long way to reviving the river system that is the lifeblood for thousands of people and many regional economies. 

“In the context of the billions now being spent supporting the community through the coronavirus pandemic, it is small change and the money has already been put aside.”

A diverse range of community interests including farmers, graziers, horticulturalists, irrigators and indigenous people from across the Murray-Darling Basin are calling for urgent action so the Basin Plan, legally activated in July 2019, has the agreed level of water recovery to revive our rivers. 

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Lifeblood Alliance has launched a new public campaign to emphasise that the government must adopt buybacks as the fastest, cheapest and most effective way of meeting Basin Plan outcomes.

Ms Smiles said: “People from all walks of life are very willing to advocate for the water buyback program to be reinstated as soon as possible. 

“They know that recovering water from infrastructure projects is far more expensive and will take too long to deliver the results our rivers urgently need.”