Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment
$10 million for research to support the Basin
4 March 2014
The Australian Government has announced $10 million for research funding to support improved environmental water use in the Murray-Darling Basin.
"This collaborative research project will be coordinated regionally by the Wodonga and Mildura based Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre's, which will be undertaken with other research organisations and government agencies working in the Basin," Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Senator Simon Birmingham said today.
"The six year project will provide a better understanding of how environmental watering improves river, wetland and floodplain health over time.
"Having spent billions of dollars recovering water for environmental purposes it is critical that it is used as effectively as possible. Their research will help to ensure taxpayers get maximum value from environmental watering decisions.
"Better knowledge will also provide an understanding how pressures such as invasive species, polluted runoff and reduced vegetation cover affect the ongoing health of water-dependent ecosystems in the Basin.
"This will help us better manage our environmental water and track progress towards meeting the objectives of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan for a healthy working Basin.
"The ability to gauge the impact of different river and land management practices on river systems across the Basin is crucial to informing environmental watering decisions, as well as Landcare and other similar projects, thereby enhancing the outcomes we are able to achieve."
The research will also support an important assessment of floodplain vegetation watering requirements in the Northern Basin.
The Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre is supported through a partnership between La Trobe University, CSIRO and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, and has over 25 years of expertise and knowledge of Basin ecology.
"The Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre also has strong connections with other research organisations working in the Basin and with Commonwealth and state agencies and is well placed to lead this collaborative research effort," Senator Birmingham said.
The Environmental Water Knowledge and Research project is funded under the Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program.