In response to the Victorian Liberal Party’s claims today that more water should be pumped from the Yarra into water storages, Environment Victoria’s acting CEO Mark Wakeham said:
“The recent spring rain has provided some welcome relief for water users and for river systems in Victoria. However, this is still one of the driest years on record, with the Yarra’s water level at 11 per cent of its natural flow and environmental flows suspended since 2007.”
“The state government’s decision to suspend environmental flows to the Yarra is now under investigation by the Commonwealth to examine whether the impact on endangered species like the Macquarie Perch represents a breach of the Commonwealth legislation. It was also criticized in last week’s National Water Commission report.”
“Given the environmental stress the Yarra has been under, Ted Baillieu’s suggestion that we take even more water from the river is extremely disappointing. It shows a lack of understanding of the way that rivers work and the need to find a balance between water to keep the river healthy and water for consumptive use.”
“In the past the Liberals have rightly pointed out that we could be doing much more to capture the water that falls on Melbourne through storm and rain water harvesting.
“It’s unclear why the Liberals now want to squeeze every last drop out of the Yarra. Coupled with the Party’s proposals to dam the Mitchell River it paints a worrying picture of what the future of our rivers would be like under a Liberal Government.
“We’re hoping for a much more considered approach to river health as the Liberal Party’s election policies are finalised.”
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