Calls for fish death in­ves­ti­ga­tion

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS -

LA­BOR leader Bill Shorten has urged Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son to es­tab­lish an emer­gency task force to in­ves­ti­gate one mil­lion dead fish in NSW.

The op­po­si­tion leader wrote to the prime min­is­ter, call­ing on the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to act thor­oughly and im­me­di­ately to ad­dress mass fish deaths in the Dar­ling River at Menindee.

“If this eco­log­i­cal dis­as­ter has been wors­ened by hu­man ac­tiv­ity, we must quickly get to the bot­tom of how it took place,” Mr Shorten wrote. The task force would in­ves­ti­gate how and why the fish died, in­clud­ing the po­ten­tial im­pact of agri­cul­tural chem­i­cals.

Mr Shorten also wants it to look at whether wa­ter di­ver­sions or man­age­ment in the Mur­ray-Dar­ling sys­tem ex­ac­er­bated the scale of the dis­as­ter and rec­om­mend im­me­di­ate steps to help the basin.

La­bor would con­sider work­ing with the gov­ern­ment to ur­gently pass leg­is­la­tion through fed­eral par­lia­ment to ad­dress the cri­sis. It comes after NSW La­bor lob­bied the Bere­jik­lian gov­ern­ment to es­tab­lish a spe­cial com­mis­sion of in­quiry to look at the is­sue.

“The im­me­di­ate pri­or­ity is to en­sure we have the sci­ence be­fore us to make de­ci­sions for a healthy river sys­tem,” Mr Shorten wrote. “If the task force’s find­ings war­rant fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion, La­bor will strongly con­sider what fur­ther in­quiries need to take place, in­clud­ing a pos­si­ble ju­di­cial in­quiry.”

Pic­ture: Of­fice of Jeremy Buck­ing­ham MLC

La­bor has called for a task force to in­ves­ti­gate the deaths of one mil­lion fish in NSW.

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