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Water purchase will help revive rivers and wetlands

The Australian Conservation Foundation has welcomed the Federal Government’s purchase of 240 gigalitres of water entitlements from Twynam Agricultural Group.

“The purchase of these entitlements should result in a very substantial volume of water being returned to some rivers and wetlands that desperately need a drink,” said ACF healthy rivers campaigner Dr Arlene Buchan.

“These entitlements are well spread around several valleys, so the water can be targeted to key bird breeding and other high conservation value areas around the Murrumbidgee, Lachlan, Macquarie, Barwon and Gwydir rivers.

“Each of these river systems has wetlands that will benefit greatly from this purchase.

“The purchase of these water entitlements will help revive wetlands, fish, birds and other wildlife in the Macquarie Marshes, the Gwydir Wetlands, the Booligal Wetlands, the Great Cumbung Swamp and the Lowbidgee, Fivebough and Tuckerbil Swamps.

“With these entitlements costing an average of $1260 per megalitre, this purchase represents good value for money, as about four-fifths is relatively reliable ‘general security’ water and one-fifth is less reliable, but still important, ‘supplementary’ water.

“This is the latest in a series of significant land and water buy backs, which has included the purchase of Toorale Station and a large allocation from Murray Irrigation Ltd, all from New South Wales.

“This is a serious shot in the arm for the Darling, but there is very little for the Murray.

“We need to see equivalent efforts made for the Murray – that means Victoria seriously stepping up its contributions to the environmental health of this important river.