Media Releases | 6th Apr, 2011

Majority of Victorians want action to protect the Murray – Newspoll

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

A new public opinion poll shows that three-quarters of Victorians support action to protect the Murray River system, and want a national plan in place before the next drought hits.

The Newspoll, commissioned by Environment Victoria and the Australian Conservation Foundation, was conducted in mid-March and tested urban and regional community attitudes to protecting the Murray River.

Environment Victoria Healthy Rivers Campaigner Amelia Young said today:

“Despite recent rains, the vast majority of Victorians agree we need a national plan in place before the next drought to protect the long-term health of the Murray River system.”

“Irrigators who burned copies of the draft plan guide may have attracted attention but they haven’t changed public opinion,” she said.

“These results send a clear message to State and Federal governments that both city and country Victorians support a strong Basin Plan that restores the river to health.”

The survey of 300 Victorians found that:

  • 77.7 percent think that a national plan to improve the health of the Murray is needed soon, before the next drought hits.
  • 74 percent of Victorians, in the city and the country, believe the amount of water allocated to the Murray-Darling river system should be increased to a level that protects its health.
  • 73.4 percent believe that protecting the health of the river will provide a more secure future for all people who live and work in the Murray-Darling Basin.

“The public also understands that a healthy river is good for the economy and for communities that live and work on the Murray.”

“Almost three-quarters of Victorians believe that increasing the share of water returned to rivers will improve the future of people living and working in the Basin.”

“This year needs to be the year that we save the Murray forever. The Federal Government has a responsibility to deliver a strong national plan, so our children can benefit from healthy rivers and the social and economic benefits they provide.”

Read a full summary of the Newspoll results here

For comment contact:

Amelia Young, Environment Victoria Healthy Rivers Campaigner on 0457 413 986

Josh Meadows, Australian Conservation Foundation media adviser 0439 342 992

For a copy of the detailed poll findings contact Louise Matthiesson, media officer 0417 017 844