Media Release

State Budget funding to ease the plight of the highly stressed Moorabool River welcomed by advocacy group.

 

People for A Living Moorabool (PALM) today cautiously welcomed the announcement of funding for relief for the Moorabool River in the Victorian State Budget 2022.

Group Co-ordinator Cameron Steele said, “It was vital that as Victoria's most flow stressed river the Moorabool's condition be both acknowledged and addressed in this year's budget, and thankfully it was.”

“If used properly these funds will help ease the continuing decline of this struggling but still beautiful river.”

According to the State Government's Long Term Water Assessment the Moorabool has seen a decline of inflows due to climate change of over 20% during the last 15 years.

“This has been disastrous for an already severely over allocated river” Mr Steele said, “and it will be only through urban water authorities like Barwon Water or Central Highlands Water in Ballarat decreasing their large entitlements that the condition of the river and its wildlife will ever improve.”

“Water efficiency and integrated water management measures flagged in the Budget will only have an impact if a portion of the water saved is returned to our stressed rivers.” Mr Steele cautioned.

“Ultimately it will take substantial investment in new climate proof sources of water, such as recycling or desalination, to make a lasting difference for our local rivers, and we await a proper commitment by government to this future.”

PALM is one of many river advocate groups across southern Victoria awaiting the State Government's final Central and Gippsland Sustainable Water Strategy due out next month.

“This is when the specific measures designed to assist rivers like the Moorabool will be revealed.” Mr Steele said.

“They will need to be both effective and meaningful to have any hope of securing the Moorabool River's long-term future and allocating funds for them is a welcomed start.”