NSW fish deaths may extend Murray inquiry

NSW fish deaths may extend Murray inquiry

NSW fish deaths may extend Murray inquiry

In a video that has been viewed almost 4 million times, Menindee resident Dick Arnold, right, and rancher Rob McBride say the fish kills are "a manmade disaster".

Mr McBride said: "This is nothing to do with drought, this is a man-made disaster".

"What stinks more than this dead animal is the management of this river. and the absolute decimation of the river by cotton irrigators upstream", independent NSW Member of Parliament Jeremy Buckingham said in viral video posted to social media on Thursday.

Her comments come a day after the minister for primary industries and water, Niall Blair, was criticised for bypassing a large gathering of people waiting to ask him questions on a visit to Menindee.

In a video that has been viewed almost 4 million times, Menindee resident Dick Arnold and rancher Rob McBride say the fish kills are "a manmade disaster".

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"The [Coalition parties] have been repeatedly warned by far west residents, community groups, scientists and Labor that their water policies would cause devastation on the Darling River".

The Board at Murray Cod Australia first extended its sympathy "to the drought affected property owners and townspeople along the Darling River that have been affected by the recent fish kills in the Menindee area".

"You can't dismiss the impact of drought when in the last six months, we have had 30 gigalitres of water flow in the Northern System, while in an average year we would expect 4,000 gigalitres".

"In hindsight, this was probably a poor decision, but it does highlight the incredibly hard task of managing flows in a manner that minimise losses, but ensures enough water is available for communities and the environment during extended severe droughts".

Prof Williams admits it's hard to manage but warns there'll be more fish deaths if there isn't a 30 to 40 per cent reduction in the amount of water extracted.

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"The scale of this disaster is extraordinary and unprecedented", the opposition leader said in a statement.

"They don't understand what it would mean [to cancel it]", Blair says, of the NSW Labor stance.

Its water allocation is of "high quality" and its fish stocks are grown in "purpose built ponds with high quality aeration systems".

That's not to say Murray Cod Australia hasn't experienced its own disastrous codtastrophe. But, as an industry, we are growing very exhausted of being "the whipping boy" for all the problems that are being brought on by this crippling drought.

Federal and state officials rejected the claims of mismanagement and said drought was to blame for the disaster, the Morning Herald writes.

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