Water Act powers could decide MDB fate
ENVIRONMENT Minister Tony Burke says he will consider using special Commonwealth intervention powers if the states can’t agree on the Murray-Darling by the end of the year.
“My hope is that I don’t have to use them . . . and that we come to an agreement,” he’s told Sydney media.
“But if they can’t reach an agreement then I have powers under the Water Act to reach a decision.”
Murray-Darling Basin states are opposing a rescue plan for the threatened river system, which proposes returning 2750 gigalitres of water to the system per year.
Mr Burke made the comments after announcing final maps of a network of 44 marine parks today (Thursday).
The federal Government is set to hold further meetings on the Murray-Darling with the states.
Mr Burke says the meetings are difficult for all involved but there is a chance of reaching an agreement this year.
“We are pulling too much water out of the system, and it’s been living as though it’s in drought for years already,” he says.