The Nature Conservation Council of NSW welcomes today’s release of the Guide to the Proposed Murray-Darling Basin Plan as the beginning of an historic opportunity for overcoming decades of environmental degradation and restoring one of Australia’s most significant natural areas.
The ambitious plan has the potential to revitalise our rivers, wetlands and ecosystems, and ensure the long-term sustainability of regional and rural communities dependent on the Murray-Darling Basin’s natural resources.
“The Basin Plan provides Australia with a unique second chance at the protection and restoration of one of the world’s great river systems,” Nature Conservation Council of NSW Chief Executive Officer, Pepe Clarke said.
“We may never again experience such a rich opportunity for securing the future of the Basin’s precious ecosystems and the essential life support services they provide. It is vital the national plan for the Murray-Darling delivers robust, fair measures that restore water flows for a healthy river system.
“Wetlands are internationally recognised as a ‘hot spot’ for plant and animal life, yet their condition across NSW is deteriorating. In the Murray-Darling Basin region alone, almost 90 per cent of floodplain wetlands have been lost. This decline must be adequately addressed in the Basin Plan.
“A recent survey found a large majority of Australians want an increase in the share of water going back into the Murray and Darling rivers, now it’s time for leadership from all levels of government to achieve a sustainable Murray-Darling,” he said.