Spawning fish and breeding birds are proof that the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is working, according to the head of the authority managing the river system.
The Advertiser reports, meanwhile, Australian Conservatives Senator Cory Bernardi and five other federal politicians have written to the Auditor-General to ask him to investigate reports of overpayments for water under the plan.
The signatories include the three Centre Alliance MPs, Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young and Labor’s Tony Burke.
“If (allegations of overpayments) are true, this would mean that the Federal Government has not achieved value for money for the taxpayer,” their letter states.
The Senate is set to vote on changes to the plan when Parliament returns in two weeks.
If approved, 605 gigalitres of water from the 2750GL plan would no longer be needed, as the authority aims to achieve environmental targets with water-saving projects.
Environmental groups and other critics say they no longer trust that those projects will deliver the promised outcomes, so they are threatening to vote for a disallowance motion to block that change.
That in turn could prompt Victoria and New South Wales to walk away from the $13 billion plan altogether.
But Murray-Darling Basin Authority chief executive Phillip Glyde said the concerns about the water were mistaken.
He said the authority would monitor all the projects and if the environmental outcomes were not met, the water needed to meet them would be returned.
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