No agricultural support for Murray towns by 2020

The first group legal action in Australia was over water. The State government had decided to place evaporative basins on or close to the properties of one hundred mallee farmers. In the early nineties solicitor Tom Green and barrister Gerry Nash took the matter to the Supreme Court. In a panic the State government used retrospective legislation to prevent the case going any further. The legislation went through the day before the judgement.

However the government then looked at the evidence and discovered the farmers shouldn’t be burdened with the evaporative basins as the saline water would mingle with the ground water and ruin soil.

The most revealing aspect of the case was the evidence from the engineers who predicted, among other things, that there would be no agriculture to support Murray towns by 2020. So it is clear that no one was heeding warnings back then despite being told directly that salinity and climate change were on the way

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