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MP lauds volunteers

Friday, 24th January, 2020

Barwon MP Roy Butler (right) and Orange MP Phil Donato (centre) helping save fish on the Darling River this week. PICTURE: Supplied Barwon MP Roy Butler (right) and Orange MP Phil Donato (centre) helping save fish on the Darling River this week. PICTURE: Supplied

By Michael Murphy

Barwon MP Roy Butler says he will approach the NSW Government about subsidising volunteers who are putting their own time and money into saving native fish in the dwindling Darling River near Menindee.

The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MP visited the river township this week with party colleague and Orange MP, Phil Donato, to take part in the operation to move struggling fish to better waters.

Mr Butler said he was “under no illusion” the little part he played on Wednesday made much difference.

“It was more about observing what the volunteers are doing,” he said yesterday.

“There’s so much that goes into it. They have got to do a lot of prep work ... all the fish are measured.

“It’s just such a good example of community members working to the good of the community with no expectation of personal gain other than knowing they are doing the right thing.”

A core group of five volunteers have saved about 80 fish so far, mostly Murray Cod. Sometimes the fish die when the fish are moved, but the volunteers have reported an 85 percent success rate. By moving the fish, they give them a chance to live.

The volunteers hadn’t asked for government help, but Mr Butler said he would track down the Agriculture and Western NSW Minister Adam Marshall when he’s back in Sydney, and ask him if the government can subsidise the project.

“The State Government had announced several million dollars to assist with hatcheries and breeding programs, but I think what I have seen today, I am going back to Adam Marshall, to tell him what these guys are doing.

“I think it’s the right thing to do.”

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