Legislation tabled in the NSW Parliament last night effectively tears up the Murray-Darling Basin Plan leaving the environment and downstream communities high and dry, the Greens said.

“NSW has been waiting for an excuse to get out of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and they’ve found one,” Greens Spokesperson for Water and the Environment, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“The Nationals are exploiting the drought crisis to blow the Plan up.

“The whole purpose of the MDBP was to manage the River in times of drought. The water sharing arrangements are designed to stop communities being pitted against each other and to avoid water wars in times of crisis.

“When speaking to the Water Supply (Critical Needs) Bill last night, the NSW Water Minister was clear that water would be reallocated at the expense of end-of-system flow requirements.

“The Coalition is putting their corporate mates in charge and they’re not actually doing anything that will put water back into the River system so towns have water to drink and family farms have water for stock and crops.

“Australia’s biggest river system is being destroyed by climate change, coal and corporate greed while the Libs and Nats fight amongst each other about who gets to announce policies that don’t deal with any of these issues.

“Towns need drinking water but it should come from corporate irrigators, not the environment or downstream users. There’s no way South Australians will let NSW and the Coalition get away with this.”