On 12 August 2009, Water Minister, Tim Holding said that
"The Liberal, National and Greens parties have today sought to deprive Melbourne and Victoria’s stressed rivers, like the Murray River, from water saved through irrigation upgrades. In an unprecedented move, opposition parties voted to disallow the Bulk Entitlement (Eildon-Goulburn Weir) Conversion Further Amending Order 2009." His interpretation was that, "This prevents water savings from the Food Bowl Modernisation Project from going to the environment and to Melbourne households and businesses via the north-south pipeline." (Government website press release 12-9-09)
Now, why would the Greens and the Liberal Nationals all vote together like that?
So what's really going on?
We provide three articles based on three press releases.
Greg Barber's is probably the most comprehensive.
To summarise, he says that:
- Because there is no water to divert at the moment no-one is losing anything by stopping to discuss the matter
- The government is refusing to reveal its 'business case' without which no-one can judge its economic and hydrological claims
- The government has attempted to proceed without Federal Environment law clearance
- The government is not providing verifiable accounting data and measures for outsiders to assess the project
- The project appears more political than hydrological
- Commerce seems to be trumping water security
- Environmentally it's a case of suck and see since there is no indication that anyone knows what the impact of the proposed changes will be
- The project is already destroying the social ecology of farming communities.