Environment Victoria, the state’s leading green group, has cautiously welcomed the State Government’s announcement that extra water will be released into some of the state’s rivers.
Acting Premier John Thwaites will today release the Central Region Sustainable Water Strategy, which will see environmental flows increased in many of the state’s stressed rivers.
Environment Victoria’s Healthy Rivers Director Dr Paul Sinclair cautiously welcomed the announcement but has yet to see the details of the plan.
“We welcome any move to return water to our thirsty rivers,” Dr Sinclair
“But we haven’t seen vital details on clear targets or timelines to recover much-needed environmental flows.”
Dr Sinclair said the announced increased flows were also only a minimum standard.
“What the State Government is proposing for the Yarra River is the minimum amount recommended by scientists.
“That’s a good start, but it will only keep the river alive – it won’t return it to good health.
“The community needs to ask whether it is happy settling for rivers that are just surviving, or if it wants healthy, thriving rivers.”
Dr Sinclair congratulated the State Government on increasing Melbourne’s water saving targets to a 25% reduction in per capita drinking water consumption by 2015 and a 30% reduction by 2020.
“We’ve been calling for higher targets for several years. It’s good to see the Government has listened and is taking some action.
“The Bracks Government is showing national leadership on the need to conserve our valuable water resources.
A copy of the Central Region Sustainable Water Strategy will be available shortly at www.dse.vic.gov.au.