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Your chance to put river plan right

Tuesday, 20th March, 2012

By Gayle Hogan 

Public consultations in Broken Hill and Menindee this week will give people the opportunity to refine their input into the Murray-Darling Basin Authority Draft Plan.

The consultations are being held by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Far West and registrations close at 5pm today..

CEO Linda Nadge said it was not about people getting on their soap box but making quality submissions for the greater good of towns along the Darling.

“It’s important not to trivialise the issue... and get the right people along,” Ms Nadge said.

“It’s not for venting. What we’re seeking to do is refine our submission.”

Ten people have signed up to attend tomorrow’s meeting in Broken Hill and a number have signed up for Thursday’s meeting in Menindee, including representatives of Tandou.

Ms Nadge said the meetings had attracted a good balance of people who understood the workings of the river system.

“It’s important for us to express some ideas. We’ll reflect the views of the broader community in our submission.

“Over the last two years the RDA has actively collected quite a consistent feed of information about the Murray-Darling Basin.”

Ms Nadge said she hoped RDA’s submission would highlight what “tweaking” could be done to ensure long-term river health.

“Things like the structure of the lakes and what it will look like in the future.

“Is it about engineering something to maximise water savings? A lot of us think yes.

“There’s lots of little things that can be done to better manage the water in the system.”

Concerns of water overuse in the northern part of Australia would also be included.

“Decades ago there was much more water flowing down the Darling River,” Ms Nadge said. “That’s a big interest, obviously.”

Ms Nadge said she was confident local voices would be heard.

“There’s so much consultation we participate in, I would hate to think we’re not being listened to.

“I think the Government will listen and do something ultimately for the greater good of the community.”

Ms Nadge said it was important for people to remember the ill-health of the river system during the drought.

“Just because there’s a lot of water in the system, doesn’t mean people should forget what we went through for the last ten years.

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