South Australian Premier Mike Rann is demanding the Victorian Government to listen to the independent experts and lift its restrictive four per cent cap water trade barrier along the River Murray system as soon as possible.
The National Water Commission's chief executive has also recommended that the 4pc must be removed.
“This is a devastating indictment of Victoria’s position and intransigence,” Mr Rann said.
“We have clear proof today that the water trade system is not working.
“The NWC’s findings – and those of the Productivity Commission set out exactly why we have taken action in the High Court.
“I’m urging the Victorian Government to accept the National Water Commission and Productivity Commission recommendations and accept the strength of South Australia’s argument in the High Court.
“They must undertake to get rid of trade barriers as quickly as possible, because they’ve placed a handbrake on the whole reform of the River Murray.
“There is only one basin – the River Murray does not respect State borders. Victoria’s actions are not the national solution Australians want and expect.”
SA Environment and Conservation Minister Jay Weatherill said Victoria needed to accept that the River Murray, Lower Lakes and Coorong were facing environmental collapse.
“If we continue to be stuck in this state versus state mentality, the River Murray will continue to suffer. We must put the River first,” he said.
“The SA Government is continuing to do what we can to try to help restore the River Murray, Lower Lakes and Coorong to health in collaboration with the Federal Government.
“Historically, just 7pc of River Murray Water has been used by South Australia, compared with 93pc upstream.
“What we need most is to return healthy flows to the River Murray and our High Court action is part of SA’s campaign to achieve that.”
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