The NSW Government needs to do more than just buy back water for marshes in the north west of the state, according to a waterbird and river ecology scientist at the University of NSW, Richard Kingsford, writing in The Sydney Morning Herald 921/6/2006, p. 5).
Entire ecosystem at risk: Kingsford said the government would have to protect the flood plains, wildlife habitats and river red gum communities. "The red gums are part of the river system," he said. "You might be looking after the water but you have to look after other parts of the system, too."
Illegal harvesting a common act: It was common, particularly in catchments such as the Gwydir and the Border rivers, for landowners to harvest floodwater, he said. "There is potential for people to take water that has not been allocated to them. You don’t want to lose that environmental flow to irrigators."
Iemma under pressure: Reece Turner, of the Wilderness Society said alleged largescale illegal clearing near the Macquarie Marshes "put the Iemma Government to shame".
$118m promised: "Iemma has announced $118 million for environmental flows for NSW’s stressed wetlands with a particular focus on the Macquarie Marshes," Turner said. "But his government has failed to stop illegal land-clearing occurring right on the back door of these internationally recognised marshes.
Govt fails to follow through: "The NSW Government has hundreds of cases of alleged illegal land-clearing sitting on its desk and has failed to bring one successful prosecution in the last two years… What is needed is political will from the premier to follow through with the three-year-old promise to end land-clearing," Turner added.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 21/6/2006, p. 5
Source: Erisk Net