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Perverse policy: Darling ‘in debt’

Friday, 15th March, 2019

The strangulation of the Darling/Barka River was the result of “perverse” government policy that lets irrigators hoard and book up water for cotton, even now in one of the worst droughts in history, a public meeting was told last night.

The river and Menindee lakes are dry, what’s left of the water is polluted and people cannot drink it yet almost 2000 gigalitres have been taken in the north, said Maryanne Slattery from The Australia Institute (TAI).

Less than 11 gigalitres made it to Wilcannia and this season alone 800 GL have been used for cotton but due to government policy the Darling now “owes” water to that industry, Ms Slattery told the packed meeting at the Musicians’ Club.

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