Pavey Must Now Restore Water in Lake Menindee and Darling-Baaka River

Australian Greens

The NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey needs to direct those irrigators in the northern part of the Murray-Darling basin who are holding back massive amounts of water in private storages as a result of the floods in February, to send enough downstream to restore water to Lake Menindee and the Lower Darling, said Cate Faehrmann, Greens MP and Chair of the Inquiry into New Dams and Water infrastructure in NSW.

Following the disallowance of the NSW Government’s Floodplain Harvesting Regulation on Tuesday NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey has announced NSW will not be delivering its controversial Menindee Lakes Water Savings Project.

“In one week we’ve seen the Menindee Lakes Savings Project and the legalisation of floodplain harvesting taken off the table. I know this will bring great joy to the people of Menindee and the Lower Darling,” says Ms Faehrmann

“The so-called ‘Water Savings Project’ was the Government’s next step in its plan to maintain over extractions in the Northern Basin, including through legalising current levels of floodplain take.

“Instead of standing up to the powerful cotton irrigators up north, the Government was prepared to drain the Lower Darling-Baaka, including Lake Menindee, in order for NSW to meet its obligations under the basin plan.

“The NSW Parliament sent a strong message this week to the Water Minister to restore water to the lower Darling-Baaka River and Lake Menindee. It’s clear that aside from a select few up north, the people of NSW desperately want this too and won’t stop campaigning until it’s done.

“This means releasing enough of the water captured in the February floods and now being held in private storages in the Northern Basin to restore flows to the Lower Darling-Baaka and to fill Lake Menindee.

“Lake Menindee is an essential nursery for native fish like the golden perch and plays a vital role for the ecosystem of the entire basin, while the Baarkindji people’s identity and culture comes from the Baaka-River itself. Without water in our rivers and wetlands not only fish die, our communities and cultural heritage dies too,” said Ms Faehrmann.

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