, 9 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
The #Menindee mass fish deaths bring to mind the time @Nat_Irrigators successfully lobbied @GregHuntMP to disallow Critically Endangered listings for the #MurrayDarling and #MacquarieMarshes (nominated by @hsi_australia and made by @Mark_Butler_MP) in 2013 abc.net.au/news/2013-11-0…
We made the submissions for both back in 2008 and their assessments by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee began in 2008 and 2009 respectively. After years of workshops, expert research etc. the TSSC delivered the advice that both should be listed as Critically Endangered
This advice was delivered to then Environment Minister @Mark_Butler_MP in 2013, and to his credit he acted on the TSSC's advice and made the listings. @Nat_Irrigators, led at the time by @tomchesson01 (former adviser to Nat Shadow Water Security Minister John Cobb) weren't happy
Kept the papers from the fallout - front page in both @theweeklytimes and @thelandnews. "Murray River Wrapped in Red Tape by Government's Defiant Final Act" / "Sly Act: Farmer Fury Over New Rules for Macquarie Marshes". Interesting ways to portray a thorough scientific process...
The problem was in the timing. Threatened Ecological Communities are disallowable instruments under national environment law and can be overturned within 15 sitting days. It had never happened before, but the timing of the 2013 election w/ pressure from peak groups meant it could
A 2013 op-ed by former @hsi_australia Director Michael Kennedy: "If Environment Minister Greg Hunt is unable to resist pressure from the likes of Barnaby Joyce to disavow environmental protections, the Murray-Darling river system will be in for rough time" abc.net.au/news/2013-10-2…
Sadly our efforts to save the listings weren't enough, and in December 2013 as one of his first acts as Minister, @GregHuntMP disallowed the Critically Endangered listings of both the #MurrayDarling and #MacquarieMarshes. The first and only ecological communities to be disallowed
It's not definite that the listings would have prevented the horrific scenes we've seen in the last week or so, but there's no doubt removing the protections has played a part. They would have assisted #environmental flow allocation and placed greater scrutiny on major extraction
Watching it happen after so much work (by us, the TSSC, Dept etc.) with the fate of these vital systems at stake was infuriating. Power brokers and decision makers went out of their way to overturn a scientific finding that the river was Critically Endangered, and now here we are
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