During a recent tour of Toowoomba, Goondiwindi, Dirranbandi, St George and dams within the Northern Murray-Darling Basin, the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder Hilton Taylor has heard from numerous stakeholders about ideas for collaboration on water for the environment.
Mr Taylor said the recent nine-day visit, which included the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s South-West Queensland Listening Tour, was highly beneficial in building his stock of local knowledge for decision-making.
“Some ideas included holding an `irrigator swap’ where Southern Basin irrigators tour Northern Basin properties and vice versa. Other suggestions included building on citizen science initiatives and ways to improve our communication and engagement activities.
“I regularly tour the basin and during these visits I can directly hear the views of First Nations representatives, irrigators, other water users and community groups.
“We talked to numerous stakeholders including the Queensland Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water, Southern Queensland Landscapes, Border Rivers Food and Fibre, Sunwater and WaterNSW as well as individual landowners and community groups.
“The main message we’re hearing is that collaboration is key to getting the most out of our water. There is a general willingness to understand ways of achieving a balance between community needs, agriculture and the environment. This will always be challenging but most agreed it was worth the effort.
“Having seen many years of drought and low dam levels it is heartening to see both the Glenlyon and Pindari Dams full and spilling.
“While in Goondiwindi we enjoyed meeting local fishing club members to hear about native fish numbers and the state of the Macintyre River.
“Our work in delivering water for the environment in the Northern Basin has helped increase Golden perch spawning and movement of native fish throughout the northern rivers system,” he said.
Mr Taylor and CEWO staff were joined by representatives from the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and the Inspector General of Water Compliance Office.
For further information about the MDBA Listening Tour go to: MDBA Chair Sir Angus Houston to tour southern and south-west Queensland to "listen and learn"
For further information about native fish population increases and movement go to: