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    Minister for Natural Resources and Water and Minister Assisting the Premier in North Queensland
    The Honourable Craig Wallace

    SOME FACTS ABOUT MURRAY-DARLING BASIN WATER EXTRACTIONS

    Minister for Natural Resources and Water and Minister Assisting the Premier in North Queensland
    The Honourable Craig Wallace

    Thursday, August 21, 2008

    SOME FACTS ABOUT MURRAY-DARLING BASIN WATER EXTRACTIONS

    Finger pointing at Queensland over water extractions is not going to help the Murray River one bit, Water Minister Craig Wallace said today.

    “Critics fixate on what water Queensland takes from the Murray-Darling Basin but rarely highlight how this compares to water extracted by other basin States, he said.

    “The fact is the lion’s share of water taken from the Murray-Darling Basin every year is taken by NSW, Victoria and South Australia.”

    ·Queensland takes less than 5% of the total water extracted from the basin each year.

    ·Just 10% of the basin’s total water storage capacity is located in Queensland; 90% is in the other states.

    ·Queensland water laws give priority to environmental flows ahead of water extractions.

    In the past seven years, Mr Wallace said, landholders in the Queensland section of the basin had been unable to take anything near their legal water entitlements because of prolonged drought.

    “For example, in 2006-07 total extractions across the Queensland leg of the basin was just 150 gigalitres.

    “Summer rains of 2007-08 produced the first decent flows in years and allowed landholders to take some of the water they are legally entitled to take.”

    Mr Wallace said the Murray Darling Basin Commission hadn’t published its report on basin water extractions for 2007-08.

    “I look forward to seeing how much water was extracted by the other basin States.

    “The Commission’s Water Audit Monitoring Report for 2006-07 clearly shows who takes most of the water in the Basin. (see attached table)

    Murray Darling Basin water extractions 2006-07

    State

    Reported Diversion

    (Gigalitres)

    % of total

    Qld

    149

    3

    NSW

    2351

    45

    Vic

    2081

    40

    SA

    627

    12

    ACT

    25

    <1

    Total

    5234

    100

    Source MDBC

    Media contact: Minister Wallace’s office, 3896 3688.