23 Apr 2012, 11:01 AM UTC
Murray-Darling plan 'deceptive and misleading'
A group of scientists has told a Senate inquiry the draft plan for the Murray-Darling Basin is deceptive and misleading. The Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists has told the inquiry that the draft plan proposed by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority must be withdrawn, arguing it will not prevent a return to drought The plan was released in November and an extensive public consultation period ended this month. A member of the Wentworth Group, John Williams, has told the inquiry there is not enough information in the draft for Parliament to make an informed decision. "To me it's misleading scientifically, it's deceptive and I think we are being sold a pup, quite frankly," he said. "It doesn't deal with climate change and it doesn't establish what the sustainable limit for a healthy river is over the long term." Meanwhile, the Authority has told the Senate inquiry that climate change science is too uncertain to be used to underpin the initial plan for the river system. The draft is based on 114 years of historical weather data and the Authority has left the possibility open for climate change projections to be included in the plan after it is in place for a decade. The Authority has closed the 20-week public submission period on the contentious draft basin plan and is now writing a final report for the Federal Government. Chief executive Rhonnda Dickson says at this stage the forward figures are too variable.
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