Media Releases | 27th Oct, 2010

Environment takes centre stage at Bendigo rivers forum

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Amidst ongoing controversy over the Murray Darling Basin Plan, and with a state election just weeks away, environment groups are hosting a forum in Bendigo to put the spotlight back on the Victorian Government’s responsibility to provide an adequate water supply for the state’s magnificent River Red Gum parks.

“Victoria’s River Red Gum forests are unique wetlands, home to a huge variety of plants and animals. While they are now protected in a series of parks, they are still in grave danger. Without a secure and reliable water supply – not just a rare flood – they will struggle to survive,” said Environment Victoria CEO Kelly O’Shanassy.

The forum will showcase the ‘Thirsty 13’ – a guide to thirteen plants and animals at serious risk if Victoria’s new River Red Gum parks are not allocated enough water.

“We want to see the Victorian state government securing adequate, legally-entitled water for these new parks and their wildlife”, continued Ms O’Shanassy.

“We need state government action for Victoria’s rivers and parks. The Victorian government must work with the Commonwealth to strengthen the Murray Darling Basin Plan and secure adequate water for the state’s newest national parks.”

Where: Latrobe University Visual Arts Centre, 121 View St, Bendigo
When: Thursday, 28 October, 6.00 – 7.30pm

The forum will hear from leading figures in the debate over river management in central and northern Victoria:

  • Dr Mike Stewardson, Melbourne University – impact of water extraction on river red gum forests
  • Prof Henry Atkinson, Monash University and Yorta Yorta elder – cultural importance of river flows
  • Dr Paul Sinclair, Australian Conservation Foundation – Victoria’s role in the MDB Plan
  • Kim Chalmers, Chalmers Wines – sustainable agriculture, for rivers and communities

Hosted by Environment Victoria, in association with Australian Conservation Foundation, Friends of the Earth, The Wilderness Society and Victorian National Parks Association.

For comment contact:

Kelly O’Shanassy, Environment Victoria 0421 054 402

Paul Sinclair, Australian Conservation Foundation 0409 004 651

Nick Roberts, Victorian National Parks Association 0429945429

Jonathan La Nauze, Friends of the Earth 0402 904 251

Gavan McFadzean, The Wilderness Society 0414 754 023