Media Releases | 20th May, 2011

Basin Plan must back scientific targets and save the Murray River

Friday, 20 May 2011

News that the Murray-Darling Basin Authority is considering a Plan that would only return 2,800 GL of water to the Basin’s ailing rivers spells disaster for Victoria’s rivers.

“The Murray-Darling Basin Authority is charged with the task of rescuing Australia’s lifeblood – the rivers of the Murray-Darling. To do this a fair share of water must be returned to rivers”, said Healthy Rivers Campaigner, Amelia Young.

“It’s unclear whether these rumours are true. But to hear that possibly only 2,800 GL is earmarked for rivers is a travesty.”

“A Plan with the small figure of 2,800 GL won’t return any more water than is already scheduled for delivery through other processes. It will fail to safeguard our environment and will leave Victoria’s rivers – including the Goulburn and the Murray – in their current poor condition.”

Important places like the River Red Gum National Parks – that so many Victorians love and enjoy – are at grave risk if insufficient water is returned to the environment.

“After thirteen years of dying for a drink, native fish and waterbirds are now making a slow recovery. Now is the time to deliver a Plan that will water wetlands and provide for their future. To do this no less than 4,000 GL of water must be returned to rivers”, said Ms Young.

“To be credible, the Authority must release a Draft Basin Plan that is informed by the best available science. The CSIRO suggests that a reasonable target for water required to restore rivers and ecosystems to health would be in the range of 4,300-6,500 billion litres per year” said Ms Young.

“The Basin Plan is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get this right. The Authority can’t afford to stuff it up”, said Ms Young.

For Comment

Amelia Young, Water and Healthy Rivers Campaigner 0404 074 577