The Australian Government is providing $6.6 million to Queensland to deliver a program of work that could see millions more healthy native fish in northern Murray-Darling Basin rivers.
Minister for Resources and Water, Keith Pitt, said the Fish Friendly Water Extraction Project in the Condamine-Balonne and Border Rivers regions would deliver benefits for fish and for communities.
“The program will see funds allocated to Installing pump screens at river off-takes which in turn will protect fish populations in the rivers,” Minister Pitt said.
“This is a win-win-win-win for the Basin as it’s also good for farmers because it reduces maintenance of pumps and increases efficient watering.
“It’s good for communities if local jobs are created in manufacturing or installing pump screens.
“It’s a win for the environment with more healthy fish in our rivers.
“It’s good for our recreational fishers who can expect a just reward if they throw a line in.
“We don’t need all farmers to install pump screens – but those who do contribute to the positive outcomes for native fish.
“This project is one of 10 Northern Basin Toolkit projects that together keep 70 GL of water in productive use while improving the health of our rivers and wetlands and the animals and plants that rely on them.
“I accelerated delivery of this project to ensure the benefits could reach communities more rapidly and to show the environmental benefits we can achieve from relatively low-tech, common sense fish protection measures.”
Queensland Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher, said Queensland was ready to develop the program along with communities.
“Pivotal to the success of this project will be involving the irrigation industry, local government, First Nations, recreational fishers and other relevant community groups” Minister Butcher said.
“We aim to be starting those conversations in the coming months and to work with communities to translate the benefits written on paper into the real world.”