New safeguards for who?

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Victoria and New South Wales have released new criteria prioritising economic outcomes for water recovery projects under the Murray Darling Basin Plan

We all know the network of rivers in the Basin is invaluable to communities and indigenous culture. The Basin Plan was developed to restore the health of our river ecosystems after a century of over extraction brought them to the brink of collapse.

The environment was to come first because we can't survive if we kill the river.

The question begs, are water ministers acting to support all life in the Basin?

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2018 River Country Campaign Diary

The Story So Far...

River_Country.JPGRiver Country has long campaigned for river red gums along the Murray.

Our Story in 2018 is one of connecting with grassroots in Victoria and further a field, building momentum and bringing creative flare to the water debate.

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Wadi Wadi Traditional Owners Still Waiting

Discussions between traditional owners and government stakeholders have left cracks in dry soil. 

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Last week, River Country facilitated a long awaited discussion between traditional owners, concerned community members and government representatives from Mallee CMA, DELWP and Parks Victoria in Nyah-Vinifera on Wadi Wadi Country. 

T
he four-hour long meeting saw tensions arise as took community shared their concerns for park management after changes in the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

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Federal Government Fails Murray-Darling River Communities

605_billion_Litres_small.pngHave you heard the news? Last week the Federal Government slashed the Murray Darling Basin Plan by one fifth.

The Basin Plan was an agreement to restore the health of the river after drought and decades of over extraction had decimated the ecological communities on the river. The river has been sick for a long time, the Darling has run dry, and fish, birdlife and wetlands are struggling near the mouth of the Murray. This change is one more nail in the coffin.

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Murray Darling Basin Plan Under Threat

The River Country campaign is calling on the Victorian Government to stop undermining the Murray-Darling Basin Plan (MDBP). City and country people are rising up to demand that Murray-Darling Rivers are kept alive!

The Federal Governments is trying to reduce the amount of environmental water that was promised for our precious Red Gum forests. Last year the NSW Government was accused of corruption and allowing water theft to occur, and now Victorian Minister for water Lisa Neville has decided to side with NSW by threatening to walk away from the MDBP.

That's why last month, people from around Victoria came together on the steps of Victorian Parliament to call on Daniel Andrews and the Victorian Government to stick up for the Murray and deliver the water that was promised to our fragile Red Gum ecosystems.

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River Country Returns in 2018

IMG_8560_blog.JPGLast year was a big year for the Murray Darling. The Darling ran dry, Four Corners exposed upstream water theft thrusting our river into the national spotlight and bickering over the Murray Darling Basin Plan threatened to cut back the amount water that is returned to the environment. With a Victorian State Election and a key decision about the fate of the Murray Darling Basin Plan pending for February, 2018 is shaping up to be even bigger.

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Logging in our National Parks

National Parks are protected right? They are the last remaining vestiges of land in Australia that are no longer cut down, hunted in or dug up. Think again. As we speak, there are large machines pushing, breaking and cutting down Red Gum trees and trampling vegetation in the Murray Valley National Park (MVNP) in NSW, Australia. It looked bad on paper, and it looks even worse in real life. It is almost unbelievable that we are employing loggers to go back into our National Parks.

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                       (Destruction on the forest floor)

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Water Act changes bad news for Red Gums

Agriculture and Water Minister Barnaby Joyce introduced amendments to the Water Act in Parliament last week that could see the burden of funding environmental works shifted onto the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder. 

Previously, proceeds from selling environmental water that was not used in one region had to be used to buy environmental water in another region. As we know, environmental water allocations are precious and many Red Gum forests, floodplains and wetlands do not receive the volumes they require to stay healthy.

The amendments to the Water Act mean that income from selling environmental water can now be used for environmental works, such as infrastructure and fish ladders. This could effectively reduce the amount of water delivered to drying Red Gum floodplains in the future. 

 

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As drought looms, help keep the Murray healthy

This week ABC news reported that flows into the Murray-Darling river system are as low as they were in 2002-2003 — the first bad year of the Millennium Drought. Meanwhile, a perfect political storm is brewing that could threaten the hard-won gains for Australia’s greatest river system. Friends of the Earth needs your help to secure a sustainable future for the Murray Darling Basin.
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Support Wadi Wadi Traditional Owners to manage Nyah-Vinifera Park

Wadi Wadi people have been trying to regain ownership and management of the Nyah-Vinifera forest since colonisation. They were promised co-management by the Victorian Labor State Government five years ago and are still waiting for an outcome. 

Show your support for Wadi Wadi by demanding the State Government commit to handing back the Nyah-Vinifera Park's management to its Traditional Owners. 

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