River report has answer to stop fish kills but will government listen?

Nature Conservation Council

April 19th 2024

The Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales (NCC), the state’s leading environmental advocacy organisation, has welcomed the release of the Connectivity Expert Panel’s interim reportaimed at securing more water for the Darling/Baaka River, and urged Minister Jackson to accept its recommendations in full.

According to the report, the time for excuses is over and we need to take action now.

Urgent action is needed to fix the rivers of inland NSW. We need enough water to remain in the many river systems that feed into the Darling/Baaka, to allow the river to support the wildlife, Culture and communities that rely on it.

“The reason there are massive fish kill events in the Darling/Baaka is straight forward – too much water is taken up stream,” said NCC Water Campaigner Mel Gray.

“After decades of inaction, we simply cannot accept any further delays.”

“The future of the Darling/Baaka river hangs in the balance, and this report holds the key to securing the critical flows the river needs.”

Statements attributable to NCC Water Campaigner Mel Gray

“The Minns Government have talked the talk – visiting Menindee the day after they were sworn into government. Now they have a chance to walk the walk and stop more Menindee fish kills by backing the Connectivity report in full.

“This is Minister Jackson’s first chance to action the game-changing commitments she and Minister Sharpe have made that will, when implemented, turn water management in NSW around.

“Entire communities have run out of water and ecosystems are collapsing.

The total waterbird and native fish populations are estimated to be around 10% of what they were 100 years ago, and even once common birds like the Pink Cockatoo are at risk of extinction.

“All the river needs is enough water to flow in the right way so that people have drinking water and ecosystems don’t die. The recommendations of this report are the first step to ensure that happens.

“Now is the time for Minister Jackson to take the bold action needed to ensure the river system’s future.”

Statement ends

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