News | 2nd Oct, 2013

Environment Victoria slams new water plan

2 October 2013
Kristen Alebakis, Bendigo Advertiser
A new strategy will see community groups work together to improve central Victoria's lakes and rivers. 
Community groups will brainstorm ideas to improve local waterways. 
Minister for Water Peter Walsh said Victorians have always appreciated waterways. 
He said the eight-year strategy aimed to improve the health of the waterways so it can provide environmental, social, cultural and economic benefits for the community. 
Mr Walsh said keeping Victoria's waterways healthy was a shared responsibility. 
"The new strategy encourages a partnership approach between government and communities," he said. 
"With extensive stakeholder input during the development process, the strategy also sets out how communities can have a say about the future management of waterways in their region."
Environment Victoria criticised the strategy saying it lacked ambition to improve the wetlands.
Environment Victoria healthy rivers campaigner Juliet Le Feuvre said the waterways strategy didn’t have enough “grunt” to fix the state’s degrading rivers.
“The Waterway Management Strategy makes some important advances in integrating management of rivers and wetlands,” she said. “However the targets for river and wetland health that are at its heart are weak and will not drive the kind of improvements in river condition that Victorians need and expect.”
Ms Le Feuvre said the Waterway Management Strategy was big in rhetoric but short on action.
"The strategy needs to set targets to improve riverside and wetland vegetation and put an end to the over-extraction of water," she said. 
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