A new public opinion poll shows threequarters 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 despite recent rains, the vast majority of Victorians agreed we needed a national plan in place before the next drought to protect the long-term health of the Murray River.
"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:
A total of 77.7 per cent think a national plan to improve the health of the Murray is needed soon, before the next drought hits.
About eight out of every 10 people surveyed, 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.
And 73.4 per cent believe 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," Ms Young said.
"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."