River communities welcome decision to disallow critically endangered listing

The Federal Government’s move to disallow the listing of the River Murray as “critically endangered” has been welcomed by the State Liberals’ Shadow Water Minister Michelle Lensink and Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone.

The Federal Government’s move to disallow the listing of the River Murray as “critically endangered” has been welcomed by the State Liberals’ Shadow Water Minister Michelle Lensink and Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone.

The former Federal Labor Government included the River Murray on a list of threatened ecological communities under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act the day before the federal election campaign officially began.

Irrigators, industry groups and businesses along the river corridor have expressed concern about the decision to include the River Murray under an ecological listing.

Ms Lensink said river communities will welcome the disallowance motion.

“After speaking with irrigators, food producers, industry groups and businesses across South Australia, it is clear there are major concerns about the impact of this listing,” Ms Lensink said.

“Listing the River Murray below the Darling Junction as critically endangered adds unnecessary red and green tape.

“Food producers are working towards a future with less irrigated water and measures which create uncertainty around development are unnecessary and unhelpful.”

With Round One of the Irrigation Improvement Industry Program now open, Mr Whetstone said the ecological listing of the River Murray would have been another “layer of bureaucracy”.

“South Australia, especially the Riverland, has a unique opportunity to invest in food production businesses through the $265 million River Murray Sustainability Program,” Mr Whetstone said.

“Federal Labor’s listing of the Murray as critically endangered would have acted as a green-tape barrier to the State’s ability to be world leaders in supporting a healthy river system.”

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