The Nature Conservation Council welcomes Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s decision to visit Menindee Lakes today to see first-hand the impact water management decisions are having on local communities and ecosystems.
Ms Berejiklian’s visit coincides with the launch of the Nature Conservation Council’s Save Menindee Lakes Campaign, which aims to restore water flows to the lakes to support local communities and millions of water birds and fish.
“The Menindee Lakes is an outback oasis in western NSW and it is under threat,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said.
“The NSW Government plans to cut off the Lakes from the Darling-Baaka River, which would be a social, economic and ecological catastrophe.
“I applaud the Premier’s for taking the time to see this ecological wonder first-hand. I hope she has time to listen to the concerns of local people.
“When I visited Menindee last month, local people were clearly distressed that the Darling-Baaka River and the Menindee Lakes were being slowly killed by poor water management.
“I hope that after hearing local concerns, Ms Berejiklian will reconsider her government’s decisions to bleed the lakes dry.
“These lakes have been called the Kakadu of the south because when they are full they support millions of waterbirds and fish and are teeming with life.
“But today, most of the lakes are bone dry. Too much water is being taken out of the river upstream for irrigation so there is not enough for the river and the lakes.
“Now the NSW Government and big irrigators are planning engineering works to ensure Menindee Lakes drain as fast as they fill.
“This would be a disaster for nature and for communities that rely on the lakes for their livelihoods and recreation, especially the Traditional Owners, the Barkandji people.”