The Murray Darling Association (MDA) has called for all levels of government to work together to identify both immediate and long-term solutions in the face of the devastating fish kills at Menindee.
At a meeting on Tuesday of local government leadership including the CEO of the MDA and the Mayors and representatives of Wentworth, Brewarrina, Bourke, Central Darling Shires and Broken Hill City Council it was determined that local government will urgently seek a collaborative meeting with the New South Wales Minister for Regional Water Hon. Niall Blair along with representatives from his department and from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, the MDBA, and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office.
The objective of the meeting will be to look for both short-term and long-term strategies to improve the health of the Barwon-Darling River system.
The MDA has also sought a meeting with the Norther Basin Commissioner Mick Keelty.
“Serious drought, increasing river regulation and often competing priorities and policy settings have all contributed to the current fish kill events in Menindee.” MDA Chief Executive Emma Bradbury said after the meeting. “It will take cool heads and collaboration at all levels to coordinate both an immediate response to the crisis, and to develop long term strategies to improve the health of the Barwon-Darling.”
The MDA has strongly condemned those whose threatening conduct and abuse caused Minister Blair to avoid meeting with concerned residents at Menindee Lakes on Wednesday, labelling the conduct unacceptable.
The full board and all 12 regional committees of the Murray Darling Association will be meeting in Echuca/Moama at the end of this month for its annual 3-day strategic planning workshop. The health of the Barwon Darling system will be high on the agenda.
ENDS For more information, contact Murray Darling Association Chief Executive Officer, Emma Bradbury on 0429 905 017 or Cr David Thurley on 0419 510 274.