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Published: 18 May 2017   •   Media release

Chair of the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA), the Hon Neil Andrew AO will launch the Salt of the Earth video at the Mildura Field Day tomorrow, which celebrates the success of initiatives to tackle salinity in Australia.

Mr Andrew said the video Salt of the Earth recognises the achievements of all those involved in one of the country’s most successful schemes, the Salt Interception Scheme, in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.

"Salinity on of the most significant natural resource challenges facing the Murray–Darling Basin. This video reminds all of us of the ground breaking work that has gone into effectively managing salinity," Mr Andrew said.

"We chose Mildura as the location to launch this important video, as salinity has been an important issue for this community. We feel it is important to recognise the efforts of all involved – as we continue to respond with the challenge this issue presents us today.

"But this issue affects many more people than those in Mildura. The Salt Interception Scheme stretches from the upper Darling in New South Wales, to the Mid-Murray in Victoria, and out to the lower Murray in South Australia.

"It is helping us to remove five hundred thousand tonnes of salt from the system every year. This huge amount of salt would have otherwise made its way into our rivers and impacted agriculture.

"Had the scheme not been in place, water quality in Adelaide during the millennium drought, 2000-2010, would have exceeded World Health guidelines almost every second day.

"From a vast natural resource problem, has emerged a successful industry that is seeing businesses like SunSalt here in Mildura export salt all over the world," Neil Andrew said.

SunSalt owner, Duncan Thomson, now employs more than 14 full-time staff and as well as casual labour.

"Our gourmet Pink Salt Flakes are enjoyed by food connoisseurs the world over," Mr Thomson said.

"Salinity is one of Australia’s major natural resource issues and SunSalt believes that every tonne removed assists in a big way," Mr Thomson said.

Mr Andrew said the strategy builds on the investment made and knowledge gained over the last 30 years of salinity management, but warns we cannot afford to drop the ball.

"We now have an effective system of salt interception schemes to manage salinity, but we need to continue to invest in operation, maintenance and renewal of this system so we can continue to enjoy the low salinity levels in the River Murray," Mr Andrew said.

More information about the Salt Interception Schemes is online

The Salt of the Earth video is available for viewing on YouTube .

Event details

What: Salt of the Earth Launch

When: 12pm Friday, 19 May 2017 (please arrive early)

Who: Neil Andrew – Chair, Murray–Darling Basin Authority

Where: Mildura Field Days (Agriculture Victoria Marquee, Site number C4, SuniTAFE Field, Benetook Avenue, Mildura).


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