Media Releases | 15th Jun, 2022

Response to Victorian Water Minister's announcement on water and trade operating rules in the lower Goulburn River

In response to the Andrews government announcement around water and trade operating rules in the lower Goulburn River, Bronya Lipski, Environment Victoria Policy and Advocacy Manager said:

“Environment Victoria is disappointed that Minister Neville has once again put the interests of big corporate water users above the community and the unique native fish and water birds that live in our rivers”

“Environment Victoria, together with Victorian Recreational Fishing executive officer Ben Scullin and Goulburn Valley Environment Group President John Pettigrew wrote to Minister Neville on May 30 outlining our concerns about the future of the Lower Goulburn River.”

“One of our key concerns involved the proposed operating rule to allow 3000 megalitre pulses three times a year, as well as average base flows of 1100 megalitres a day.”

“The Scientific Advisory Panel’s Technical Report makes clear that unseasonal pulses of this magnitude and frequency have the potential to have adverse impacts on the health of the river including threats to invertebrates and destabalising river banks.”

“We requested that Minister Neville ensure that the final operating rule be based on the available scientific knowledge on the river condition and how to sustain it – but Minister Neville’s statement as outlined today doesn’t give us confidence that this scientific advice has been adhered to.”

“We have written to Lisa Neville outlining our concerns, but while she has acknowledged the risks, this response really doesn’t go far enough.”

“While the report highlights the risks, Minister Neville has not taken the required steps. A better outcome would have been a reduction to two 3000 flow flushes rather than three flushes, and also that the base minimum average flows should be around 960 rather than the 1100 proposed by Minister Neville.”

“The risks are outlined in the scientific report, but Lisa Neville’s response today doesn’t adequately address them.”

Media contact

James Norman, Media and Content Manager

Ph: 0451291775