Call for ac­tion on Menindee

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - Drugs Scourge -

WITH the spec­tre of more dead fish loom­ing over NSW, Pri­mary In­dus­tries Min­is­ter Niall Blair has warned against an emer­gency meet­ing of stake­hold­ers be­com­ing an in­ef­fec­tive talk-fest.

Up to a mil­lion fish are dead in the Dar­ling River at Menindee (pic­tured) and more are likely to per­ish in com­ing days as tem­per­a­tures rise.

De­spite crit­i­cism from sci­en­tists and en­vi­ron­men­tal ad­vo­cates who say mis­man­age­ment of wa­ter is to blame, the fed­eral and NSW gov­ern­ments are adamant that drought is be­hind the deaths.

Fed­eral Wa­ter Min­is­ter David Lit­tleproud has asked the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin Au­thor­ity to con­vene a meet­ing of wa­ter man­agers and en­vi­ron­men­tal wa­ter hold­ers to dis­cuss the mat­ter this week.

But Mr Blair has called for an end to blame-shift­ing, say­ing the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin Plan was set­tled in De­cem­ber.

“Hold­ing a talk-fest that does not iden­tify any new wa­ter so­lu­tions to help the Menindee com­mu­nity does not help any­one,” he said.

Mr Blair said the fish were killed by a “per­fect storm” of fac­tors in­clud­ing se­verely low wa­ter flow and al­gal blooms.

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