update: CB (twitter): High winds have prevented environmental activists from completely unveiling a banner campaigning against MDBP at Hume Dam
meanwhile: BM reports:
Eight abseilers – five men and three women – jumped fencing in preparation for the stunt about 6am, prompting a visit from Albury police who told the protesters that trespassing charges would be considered. .. full article here.
[FoE Media Release]
In a protest Monday morning against the hopelessly inadequate draft Murray-Darling Basin plan, activists have abseiled from the wall of the Hume Dam outside Albury and suspended a giant 50 metre banner.
Organised by environment groups Friends of the Earth and the Wilderness Society, the powerful image is designed to draw attention to the needs of the river that will not be addressed by the draft plan. The banner reads “Basin Plan Fails Rivers”
Chris Daley, NSW Rivers Campaigner for the Wilderness Society, said the purpose of the protest was to send a strong message that the plan will not restore enough water to the environment.
“The draft Murray-Darling Basin plan will not do what it says on the label. It will not flush the salt from the system, it will not protect Australia’s internationally significant Rasmar wetlands, nor will it provide the certainty to regional communities for the future.
“All life and all economic development from irrigation are based on a healthy environment.
“If we destroy the environment as we currently are with salinity and over use of water, we hang regional communities out to dry.
Friends of the Earth Murray-Darling Campaigner Jonathan La Nauze said “there’s been an attempt to pitch regional communities against those speaking for the interests of the environment – however, this is a false choice.”
“The choice we have is this – we either put enough water back into the system to ensure a healthy environment, healthy communities and sustainable economies – or we continue on the current path of undermining the environment, local economies and our way of life.
“You can’t swim in a blue-green algal bloom, you can’t camp by an acidified billabong, and sure as hell can’t farm on a dead river.”
“To ensure we have healthy communities, based on a healthy environment, we must listen to what the best available science is telling us, that the river needs between 4,000 and 7,600GL returned in environmental flows.
Mr Daley said “this plan ignores the science. It fails the Water Act and it will fail communities throughout the basin. Even the CSIRO have said it fails the environment.”