This submission was prepared jointly between EJA, the EDO and the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists. It’s a technical one, but important!
The submission is in response to proposals for infrastructure works on certain sections of the Murray River floodplain on the lower Victorian Murray River (around Mildura and Robinvale). Those works intend to enable water for environmental purposes to be pumped into floodplain ecosystems, where those ecosystems are increasingly stranded from flooding regimes they need to survive and flourish. The works are part of the Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism under the Basin Plan, which is ultimately seeking to avoid the need to recover water for the environment and to maintain unsustainable and arguably unlawful levels of diversions of water out of the rivers and wetlands of the Murray Darling Basin. This submission responds to what should be considered in the environmental assessment process that will inquire into those projects in 2021 and 2022. In our submission one of our key concerns is that the assessment looks at the wider (for example indirect) effects of these projects where they enable or facilitate less recovery of water for the environment and continuing over-extraction of water from an already stressed Basin ecosystem.