Basin Plan Delivering Environmental Benefits For Victoria

20 December 2017

A new report card shows the significant environmental benefits being delivered across Victoria under the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

Minister for Water Lisa Neville today released Victoria’s Basin Plan Environmental Report Card, which shows that, since signing up to the Plan in 2012, Victoria’s contribution is delivering positive returns for the environment.

Victoria has put forward 22 projects for Commonwealth funding as part of the Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL) Adjustment Mechanism, which delivers environmental benefits without taking water off irrigators.

These positive results show the SDL adjustments deliver significant benefits and need support. Yet South Australia opposed the 605GL of offset projects at the latest Ministerial Council meeting in Albury on Tuesday.

The Andrews Labor Government has consistently argued that improving the health and life of the river is essential as the Basin Plan is more than just delivering a quantity of water.

Victoria has recovered, or has contracted to recover, more than 800GL of water for the environment across 80 sites – 76 per cent of the total volume of water to be recovered in Victoria.

The report card shows that water secured for the environment has benefitted native fish, waterbirds, frogs and vegetation, reduced salinity and improved floodplain health.

Achievements include:

  • 300 per cent increase in Golden Perch in Goulburn River between 2012-17
  • Silver Perch numbers in the Campaspe and Goulburn Rivers were at a record high in 2017
  • 4,326 and 47 species of waterbirds recorded at Lake Cullen after watering
  • Migratory Red Necked Stints recorded at Hattah Lakes for the first time this year
  • 220 threatened Australasian Shovelers recorded in 2017
  • Aquatic vegetation at Lake Elizabeth increased from 1ha to 65ha of cover in 2015.
  • Healthier River Red Gums and Black Box tree canopies, more saplings and seedlings
  • Four major works projects under the Living Murray initiative completed
  • Nine new projects allowing the watering of approximately 14,440 ha of floodplain

To read a summary of the report, visit Link reportcard.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville

“We remain focused on meeting its obligations under the Basin Plan. The 22 projects put forward by Victoria will deliver significant benefits for the environment.”

“Our environmental works projects will create millions of dollars of investment in regional Victoria and help deliver real benefits under the Basin Plan without taking more water off farmers."

“While more work needs to be done to secure community confidence in the Plan – we remain focused on delivering our environmental projects and advocating for regional communities in Victoria.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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