Letter to the Editor

June 18, 2017

Give our Goulburn River the break it deserves

The Goulburn River is critical to our productive future and the wellbeing of our communities.

The Murray-Darling Basin Plan offers the best opportunity to ensure we maintain this river in its current or an improved condition.

A key aspect of the plan is the ability to return minor flooding to the Goulburn River, flooding that has been severely reduced with the development of large scale water storages over time.

The health of our river and our wetlands relies on the wetting of river flats and connecting not just our key wetlands but the thousands of other smaller wetlands and depressions along the length of the Goulburn River.

The Victorian Government must ensure that this basic ability to deliver these flows, included in the basin plan, is not undermined by a noisy minority, most unaffected by these flows.

We know we can connect our local wetlands such as Gemmills and Reedy swamps and Loch Garry with these flows and in doing so also connect to the river flats and other wetlands and depressions.

As a community we should settle for nothing less if we are to have any chance of passing on to future generations the quality of life we have experienced in our Goulburn Valley.

While this noisy minority influences the Victorian Government, our elected representatives, local government and responsible authorities remain silent.

This is not a debate over the volume of water to be returned to the environment, but simply to maximise the benefits of environmental flows.

Silence will not ensure the continuing health of our Goulburn River.

—John Pettigrew, Bunbartha

president, Goulburn Valley

Environment Group

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