Environment Victoria has criticised the state government’s pre-election decision to move Melbourne back to Level 2 water restrictions from Wednesday, 1 September without delivering promised environmental flows to the Yarra River.
“If we don’t have enough water to provide the Yarra with what it needs to remain healthy, we shouldn’t be further easing water restrictions,” said CEO Kelly O’Shanassy.
“The Yarra is still being short-changed by 10 billion litres of water each year, compared to the environmental flows that were promised by the state government back in 2006,”
“We need to remember our reservoirs are still less than 40 percent full, and we’re about to head into summer when water use increases dramatically,” she said.
“Everyone wants to see water restrictions eased, but not at the expense of the environment.”
“Since Melbourne is now taking water from northern Victoria via the pipeline, it’s not just the Yarra that is affected, this decision will also increase pressure on the Goulburn River which is the most stressed river in the entire Murray-Darling Basin,” said Ms O’Shanassy.
The Yarra is just one out of fifteen rivers across Victoria that are missing out on their promised environmental water entitlements.
“All our rivers have been waiting a long time for a decent drink. Ahead of the state election we need to see a plan from the Government and Opposition for providing Victorian rivers with the water they need to remain healthy,”
“The first priority should be to return water to the rivers that feed the newly declared River Red Gum Parks in northern Victoria,” concluded Ms O’Shanassy.
To arrange interviews:
Louise Matthiesson, Environment Victoria Media Officer on 0417 017 877