Environment Victoria has welcomed the release of the guide to the Murray Darling Basin Plan, saying it offers hope for Victoria’s northern rivers and red gum national parks.
“For years, Victorians have watched with dismay as our river systems have suffered from the combined effects of drought and over-extraction of water,” said Environment Victoria’s Healthy Rivers Campaigner Juliet Le Feuvre.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to restore balance to the way our northern rivers are managed so that our children can inherit healthier river systems and a more sustainable agricultural industry,”
“Victoria’s river red gum national parks have been literally dying for a drink, and although the recent floods have provided a temporary reprieve, it is essential that this new Murray Darling Plan is implemented in full to secure their long-term future,” she said.
“We recognise that in some areas the proposed changes may be challenging, but the plan offers a path to a more sustainable future for these regions. We fully support the need for proactive support packages to assist communities through this transition,”
“The Murray Darling Basin Authority’s guide makes it clear that returning 4000 gigalitres to the environment is the only scenario that provides adequate certainty for meeting the Plan’s objectives,” said Ms LeFeuvre.
“We urge the State and Federal Governments to work cooperatively to make sure that water purchased through voluntary buy-backs actually reaches the places that need it most, like our red gum parks”
“Premier John Brumby has a key role to play in standing up for Victoria’s rivers and red gums, and supporting a sustainable future for rural communities,” she concluded.
For further information or comment:
Water and Healthy Rivers Campaigner: Juliet LeFeuvre on 0428 770 019
Media assistance: Louise Matthiesson on 0417 017 844