24.9°C 03:00 pm

Summer deadline for emergency response

Tuesday, 10th September, 2019

Protestors on the banks on the Darling River during a visit by then-NSW Water Minister Niall Blair in January. PICTURE: Myles Burt Protestors on the banks on the Darling River during a visit by then-NSW Water Minister Niall Blair in January. PICTURE: Myles Burt

A range of emergency measures identified by Professor Robert Vertessy would be in place before summer, Federal Minister for Water Resources David Littleproud said yesterday.

“We’re taking steps right now to make sure an Emergency Response Plan is in place,” he said in a statement.

“The states and MDBA are setting up early warning systems that monitor conditions in the Basin.

“This will tell us where to put aerators to create fish refuges where they’re needed most.

“We will also be on the front foot if we need to relocate fish.

“No-one wants a repeat of last summer’s events and without rain, conditions for native fish are likely to deteriorate and we need to plan for a quick response.”

He urged Basin communities to get involved in developing an ongoing strategy to protect native fish.

“Local communities are passionate about native fish health and it’s important they have the opportunity to help set the direction of the Native Fish Management and Recovery Strategy.

“I encourage fishing groups, tourism operators and other community members to get involved as they know their river and local fish populations better than anyone.

“Scientists are working on this now, but we also need local knowledge to make sure the strategy is fit for purpose.

The Minister has asked for the Native Fish Management and Recovery Strategy to be finalised by April 2020.

“We’ve also committed $88 million to a comprehensive program for fish research and recovery, rebuilding the health of ecosystems and providing emergency responses during drought,” he said.

“This includes rolling out the recommendations from the Vertessy Report in response to the fish deaths in the Lower Darling River last summer.”

To have your say on the draft native fish management and recovery strategy go to: www.getinvolved.mdba.gov.au/native-fish-strategy

© Copyright 2019 Barrier Daily Truth, All Rights Reserved. ABN: 38 684 603 658