Water Matters - Issue 31

Department of the Environment, 2013
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Simon Birmingham and Ed Fessey at Weilmoringle Station, NSW

Parliamentary Secretary visits Murray-Darling Basin communities

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment Simon Birmingham attended a series of meetings in the northern and southern Murray-Darling Basin as part of a program of community engagement and consultation.

Senator Birmingham met with community representatives to discuss the Basin Plan and its implementation, and how government and stakeholders can work together to achieve the best outcomes for healthy rivers and for the communities and industries that rely upon them.

For more information, see:

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Mehi River. Photo by Clare d'Arcy (CEWO)

Environmental watering to benefit native fish

Native fish in the Gwydir Valley will benefit from the release of up to 20 000 megalitres of Commonwealth environmental water for the first time into the Mehi River and Carole Creek in New South Wales.

These environmental flows will improve breeding conditions for native fish as well as enhancing in-stream habitat, increasing food for fish and other aquatic species and stimulating carbon and nutrient cycling throughout the river system.

Native fish species including carp gudgeon, bony bream, spangled perch and rainbowfish are expected to benefit from the flows. The Mehi River also has important populations of freshwater catfish, golden perch and endangered Murray cod.

For more information, visit:

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South East Irrigation Scheme site

Funding for new irrigation scheme in Tasmania

The South East Irrigation Scheme will deliver $19.5 million of Government funding for the construction of a 200 megalitre dam, installation of three pump stations and laying 82 kilometres of new pipelines for water delivery in Tasmania’s south east.

Up to 3000 megalitres of water will be delivered to irrigators in the region stretching from Brighton to Forcett and will benefit Tasmania’s agriculture sector through an increase in the production of fresh market vegetables, stone fruit and cool climate wine grapes.

For more information visit:

Photo of members of the Nimmie-Caira Environmental Water Delivery Project Advisory Committee

Nimmie-Caira Environmental Water Delivery Project update

Planning has begun on the $180 million Nimmie-Caira project, to be managed by the NSW Office of Water, will deliver enhanced environmental outcomes in the lower Murrumbidgee through the reconfiguration of water supply infrastructure, local community offset projects and the introduction of water management arrangements to achieve environmental outcomes. The project involves the transfer of substantial water entitlements to the Commonwealth for environmental use.

The first meeting of the Project Advisory Committee was recently held in Hay. The Australian Government, Commonwealth Environmental Water Office, NSW Government, Shire Councils, an environmental scientist, local landholders and indigenous representatives attended.

For more information, NSW State Priority Projects - Nimmie-Caira.

Farm Modernisation project for Victoria

The Victorian Farm Modernisation Project will receive up to $100 million in Australian Government funding to increase irrigation efficiency in the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District of North-western Victoria. Funding will assist in the modernisation of farm irrigation systems, including the adoption of technology and practices that increase the efficiency of
irrigation water use.

The project will deliver water savings of around 53 GL, of which 30 GL will be transferred to the Commonwealth for the environment, with the remainder to be retained by the
irrigators. The project is expected to start later this year.