The Macquarie River leads the way again with installation of fish screens on irrigation pumps saving the lives of thousands native fish. Congratulations to the dedicated people who worked tirelessly to make the fish screens a reality.
The fish screens will save thousands of vulnerable, threatened and endangered native fish every year, as well as being of significant financial benefit to the irrigation industry.
There is a long way to go, and it's crucial that pump screening projects in the future are funded at least in part by the industry that stands to financially benefit.
The fish screens that were installed last week were funded by the forced sale of publicly owned water that was being used to connect the Macquarie and Barwon Rivers for native fish migration. In 2018, 2,000 Megalitres of water owned by the NSW taxpayer was forcibly sold into the water market to the highest bidder.
Losing this water from the river had an impact on how long and at what height the Macquarie River connected to the Barwon River. Connecting the two rivers is critically important for native fish who must migrate between the rivers to successfully breed.
While it's a no-brainer to screen pumps and stop the decimation of thousands of native fish every irrigation season, water is the most important thing in any fish's life. What we deliver with one hand, should not be taken away with another.
Convenor, Healthy Rivers Dubbo
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