Water

Have your say on water trading for sake of Goulburn River’s future, GVEG says

By Rodney Woods

DELWP's review into the Goulburn to Murray water trade rule is the last chance for people to have their say on summer flow volume limits and influence changes capable of protecting the Goulburn River, according to Goulburn Valley Environment Group.

GVEG president John Pettigrew said for decades the increasing delivery of irrigation entitlements to downstream development had impacted the Goulburn and local communities.

“The river has suffered from severe in-stream loss of vegetation, and cooler water temperatures have impacted fish breeding,” he said.

“The community has lost much of the summer recreational access to sandbars, and high flows have adversely impacted recreational fishing and tourism.

“Sensibly the Barmah National Park was protected by the creation of maximum flow limits and clear trade rules are in place for the Barmah Choke.

“However, these restrictions have pushed the ever-growing environmental damage onto other streams, in particular undermining the long-term health of the lower Goulburn River.”

Mr Pettigrew said water reforms, the water market and trading rules were intended to protect against third-party impacts but clearly this protection had not taken place.

“GVEG believes limits for summer flows need to be set at 1000 Ml per day or less if genuine protection is to be set in place for the Goulburn River,” he said.

“This compares with past summer flows of up to 3000 Ml per day.”

● To have your say, visit: https://engage.vic.gov.au/goulburn-murray-trade-rule-review

The deadline is Friday, May 15.