The right to clean drinking water is a recognized human right Mr Scott Morrison!
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Access to potable drinking water is a recognized international human right. Where is the 2750 Gigalitre environmental flow promised for the Darling River and those who live along it? Currently charities are providing donated drinking water to some of the river communities out in New South Wales (including Wilcannia and Pooncarie) .
The Darling River has had 15 "cease to flow" events since 2001, the longest being 520 days. Prior to 2001 the last “cease to flow” event was 1945. Endangered species and and wildlife generally are all affected and dying along the Darling. Big Cotton on the other hand seems to have plenty of water. We have been told its a drought, but many from the river communities say its not the drought that causing this. Its Big Cotton. We have international agreements that we have signed but seem to have ignored with regards to what is happening to our river. These include the Convention on Biological Diversity; Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, should we not honour them?
The river is not flowing. Its pooling in stagnant ponds and in that blue green algae continues to breed. It is a danger to both human and animal life. There is a clear link between motor neurone disease and blue green algae. This is not only an access to drinking water issue, its a public health issue.
Release the 2750 gigalitre environmental flow that you promised. Take back illegally taken water held in Big Cottons turkey dams. Review the licensing of water, prosecute water thieves and break down the illegal barriers constructed by unscrupulous irrigators who divert the flow of the natural water courses and pump out its water; let the river flow. It is not flowing. Its pooling in stagnant green ponds.
I started this petition, because…
I have recently traveled the Darling River and seen how a "no flow" river is affecting communities along it. Buying water from supermarkets in order to drink clean water is not an option for most of the river communities out there. Government is not providing these communities with drinking water:- charities are. The poor communities have little already. Buying water is not an option. Many bush communities are going under. Family farms are disappearing as is the tourism industry. What is the net cost benefit to the country after we factor in losses in the bush economies, health care costs from using contaminated water resulting in high levels of kidney disease and diabetes and the general poor mental health of its communities (including depression and suicide)? I say, families before corporations and people over profit, the environment before Big Agriculture. We all have a right to a healthy environment as do our native flora and fauna. Let the iconic Darling River run.
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