Australia: SA govt finally responds to Murray inquiry - - PressFrom - Australia

Australia SA govt finally responds to Murray inquiry

09:40  26 september  2019
09:40  26 september  2019 Source:

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The South Australian government has finally delivered its full response to the state's Royal Commission into the Murray-Darling Basin. © AAP Images The South Australian government has finally delivered its full response to the state's Royal Commission into the Murray-Darling Basin.

Support for more forced water buybacks along the Murray-Darling Basin has been ruled out by the South Australian government in its response to the state's royal commission into the river system.

Finally delivering its full response more than six months after the royal commission's findings were handed down, the government said it would not support 10 of the 82 recommendations included across the commission's report and a report handed down by the Productivity Commission.

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Those rejected include calls for the recovery of more water through immediate buybacks as well as recommendations the government says will delay the implementation of the current Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

Premier Steven Marshall said the health of the Murray-Darling Basin was critically important for the future of SA, particularly those who rely on the Murray.

"The government is absolutely committed to the current basin plan and recognises that its implementation requires strong leadership from the Commonwealth and each basin state government," Mr Marshall said.

"When the royal commission and productivity commission reports were released earlier this year, I said the state government would give them very careful consideration before announcing our full response."

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The South Australian government says the Murray -Darling Basin Royal Commission will withdraw demands for so The royal commissioner leading South Australia's probe into the Murray -Darling Basin has called for an apology from the state's attorney-general amid a row over the future of his

In the interim the state government successfully lobbied for the appointment of an independent umpire to help ensure the basin states were meeting all their obligations.

"We also wanted greater focus on improved information on the impact of climate change and further engagement and support of Aboriginal groups to identify their water values, both of which were supported," Mr Marshall said.

"Our full response to both the royal commission and productivity commission reports outlines actions that will be taken by South Australia and reflects a range of agreements reached by basin governments."

Environment and Water Minister David Speirs said the state government was committed to the full implementation of the basin plan and would continue to demand the delivery of environmental flows agreed to when it was first adopted in 2012.

"The plan is the only way to secure the equivalent of 3200 gigalitres of water that is to be delivered by 2024," Mr Speirs said.

In his report, royal commissioner Bret Walker found water allocations from the river were driven by politics rather than science and called for a complete overhaul of the basin plan.

He said the plan also completely ignored climate change projections in determining how much water should be returned to the environment.

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