Blog | 6th Sep, 2010

Help us protect Gippsland’s rivers

Over the last few years, the Victorian government has been working its way around the state writing sustainable water strategies for the different regions. Now it's Gippsland's turn.

These strategies are intended to be 50 year planning documents that identify potential challenges and opportunities for water management, provide secure supplies for towns and for agriculture, and identify ways to increase the amount of water available to the environment.

Here at Environment Victoria we’ve had plenty to say about all of them, and we really encourage everyone who is interested in river health to get involved and have your say about why healthy rivers are important and how they can be protected.

Now a draft sustainable water strategy has been released for Gippsland, and it's open for public comment. The strategy looks at the impacts of climate change on the region’s rivers (yes, even Gippsland river inflows are down by over 35 percent in the last 13 years) and assesses demand for water from industry, especially the power generators, and agriculture.

It proposes an extra 10GL in environmental flows for the Latrobe River, and caps on extraction for other rivers like the Mitchell and Tambo, and the Tarra in South Gippsland. It also reiterates the government’s position in ruling out a major dam on the Mitchell.

All these initiatives are worth supporting and need people like you to stand up for them so they get locked into the final strategy.

But there is more the strategy could do in protecting fresh water inflows into the Gippsland lakes to preserve their water quality and protect the unique wetland environment.

It could also do more to tackle the insatiable thirst of coal-fired power generation for water and promote a vision for Gippsland as clean and green. After all, it is home to some of the best rivers in the state that are a drawcard for people from all over Australia and beyond.

DSE is running information sessions on the draft strategy at the following times and places:

Leongatha Forum on  Friday 17 September @ 11-12:30pm
Bairnsdale Forum on Monday 20 September @ 1:30-3:00pm
Orbost Forum on Tuesday 21 September @ 11-12:30pm
Traralgon Forum on Friday 24 September @ 11-12:30pm

Please check here for more details
The draft strategy can be downloaded here

The submission period runs until early December so we’ll be posting more info soon about workshops to help you write your submissions, so that Gippsland’s rivers get the helping hand they need.