Fishy political blame game steps up a gear

By Country News

The NSW Government should stop passing the buck and accept the key role it played in the recent mass fish kill in the Menindee Lakes, according to Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate for the western NSW state seat of Barwon, Roy Butler.

Mr Butler’s remarks come after NSW Primary Industries and Regional Water Minister Niall Blair told 2GB radio that Canberra was to blame for the toxic blue-green algae outbreak that killed an estimated one million fish in the Darling River at Menindee.

‘‘Let’s be clear,’’ Mr Blair said.

‘‘These fish died because both the federal and NSW government decided to drain the Menindee Lakes and flush the water out to man-made lakes in South Australia.

‘‘The NSW Government supported the decision to drain the lake. They did nothing to stop it.

‘‘If they hadn’t drained so much water away, there’d be enough available now to flush the river.

‘‘This would create the fast movement of water needed to prevent the deadly algae from blooming.’’

Mr Butler said Mr Blair was shirking his responsibility by blaming the Commonwealth.

‘‘What Mr Blair did not tell people is that his own government has also been draining Menindee for so-called environmental purposes,’’ he said.

‘‘NSW is the biggest and most powerful state.

‘‘The NSW Government can and should withdraw from the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.’’