More mass fish deaths pre­dicted

The Advertiser - - NEWS -

MORE fish are likely to die as state and fed­eral wa­ter man­agers pre­pare for an emer­gency meet­ing to can­vass op­tions to mit­i­gate the eco­log­i­cal dis­as­ter in the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin.

Wa­ter Min­is­ter David Lit­tleproud de­scribed the sit­u­a­tion as hor­ri­ble, join­ing his NSW state coun­ter­part Niall Blair in warn­ing of more dev­as­ta­tion after up to a mil­lion fish died in the Dar­ling River sys­tem.

“I’m ad­vised there is a high like­li­hood of more fish kills very soon,” Mr Lit­tleproud said.

The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment wants states to agree to use $5 mil­lion from Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin funds for a strat­egy to look after na­tive fish.

Mr Lit­tleproud has asked the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin Au­thor­ity to con­vene a meet­ing of state and fed­eral wa­ter man­agers and en­vi­ron­men­tal wa­ter hold­ers this week.

The meet­ing will look at the im­me­di­ate risk of fur­ther fish kills and how to mit­i­gate that pos­si­bil­ity in­clud­ing through the re­lease of en­vi­ron­men­tal wa­ter.

Stake­hold­ers will also re­view state and fed­eral wa­ter­ing pri­or­i­ties to see if changes are needed.

Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son said he was con­cerned some may at­tempt to “play pol­i­tics” with the bi­par­ti­san Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin Plan.

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