MEDIA RELEASE


Dying Moorabool River needs big drinks of water


22 June 2021

Film premiere on Saturday 26 June in Ballarat


“The Moorabool River will continue to deteriorate and die unless we give back some of its water,” says Cameron Steele, coordinator of river protection group, People for A Living Moorabool.


“We’re calling on the Victorian government to give back 20,000 megalitres per year,” he says.


“The Moorabool flows from the Central Highlands near Ballarat through to Geelong - in theory. Sometimes, the Moorabool barely makes it to its junction with the Barwon River.”


“It’s Victoria’s most flow-stressed river. About 90 percent of the Moorabool’s natural flow is now taken for human use, primarily for Ballarat and Geelong.”


“Despite the pressure, the Moorabool still has wonderful gorges and valleys. Some sections contain iconic Australian wildlife, such as the platypus and rakali, as well as beautiful riverside bushland. However, unless the Moorabool gets more water to restore its health, the river will continue to deteriorate and completely die.”


Ian Penna, Moorabool River farmer and PALM supporter said: “We have watched the river deteriorate because of lower flows. Scientific research from 2005 shows the Moorabool needs a minimum increase in its environmental flow of 20,000 megalitres a year if it is to have a healthy future. This is now only about 5,000 megalitres”.


As one of the film production team, Mr Penna said: “We created a film, “the River Moorabool”, which documents the best and worst of the river and explores how we can restore it.”


“Options include smarter management of farm and government dams to reduce water loss/waste plus increased urban use of recycled water, waste water, and desalination.”


Mr Steele said: “We are facing our last chance to secure a long-term future for this river and its wildlife.” “After seeing our film, we want citizens using the river and drinking its water to tell the Victorian government to give the Moorabool River the regular big drinks it deserves.”


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“the River Moorabool”


Background to the film.

The Moorabool River is in Victoria’s Central Region. Its sources are in the Wombat Forest near Ballarat and Daylesford, and it flows to the Barwon River near Geelong.


The film “the River Moorabool” (46 minutes) was made by People for A Living Moorabool (PALM) and Sheoaks Films of Torquay.


Melbourne University water law specialist, Erin O’Donnell says “the River Moorabool” is “compelling, powerful and utterly beautiful and information rich.....it
really deserves to be seen by a wide audience”, given its release ahead of the Victorian Government’s review of the Central Region Sustainable Water Strategy.


The film features:
- interviews with primary producers whose properties abut the river, landcare organisers, scientists, healthy river advocates and a member of the Wadawurrung
nation, as well as
- spectacular and wide-ranging views of the Moorabool river valley and catchment.


The film’s official trailer (3:45 minutes) is @ https://vimeo.com/349830144


A recent film promo (2:21 minutes) is @ https://vimeo.com/555665688


“the River Moorabool” will be launched on Saturday 26 June at the Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute, Sturt St, Ballarat from 7pm.


The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with some of the people that appear in the film.


There will also be a launch in Geelong on 3 July at the Peter Thwaites Lecture Theatre, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds from 7pm.
Screenings are planned for the regional towns of Bannockburn and Ballan, as well as Melbourne.


Tickets are available from Eventbrite @ https://www.eventbrite.com.au/

END