Concern for Murray river floodplains

It’s incredibly disappointing that plans to artificially engineer floodplains on the Murray River are going ahead, so that even more water can be provided to irrigators from this iconic river system.

The Victorian Murray Floodplain Restoration Projects include plans to artificially engineer nine wetlands, including the Hattah Lakes North and Belsar-Yungera floodplains, as part of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

The Victorian Minister for Planning has determined that the environmental impacts of the Hattah Lakes North and Belsar-Yungera projects will be acceptable. Four more projects are currently being assessed.

Representing Environment Victoria, EJA lawyers have raised concerns these projects could devastate the river system – and all of us who depend on water for life.

The assessment acknowledges there will be significant adverse impacts on the environment especially during construction.

We are disappointed these projects will proceed without proper consideration of alternatives and without scrutinising the cumulative adverse impacts on the river system, communities and the ecosystems that rely on it.

The iconic Murray Darling Basin is in strife.

Climate breakdown, politics, industry and agriculture have made this incredible river system one of the most vulnerable water basins on the planet.

These projects will irreversibly change the way the river functions and flows, disturb threatened native wildlife, and destroy hundreds of incredible hollow-bearing trees that take decades to grow.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

On 28 July 2023, behalf of Environment Victoria, EJA made a submission on the proposed artificial wetland works on the Burra Creek.

On 3 July 2023, EJA also made a submission setting out our key recommendations to achieve ecological outcomes and environmental justice for First Nations communities within the Murray Darling Basin.

While this outcome is disappointing, it’s not the end of the road. We’ll keep you updated as we keep using the law to protect the Murray Darling Basin.

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