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Published: 18 February 2019   •   Media statements

"The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) will consider the Australian Academy of Science (AAS) report in full, along with the findings of the Independent Panel that will provide an interim report to the Australian Government on 20 February.

"The Independent Panel will also consider the AAS analysis and findings in developing its final report, and has invited a member of the Academy to take part in its expert peer review workshop.

"The key AAS finding, that flows in the northern rivers needs to be improved, is exactly what the Basin Plan sets out to achieve. As noted in the AAS report, this is especially challenging during drought.

"Some of the Academy's recommendations are dealt with by actions that are already underway. For example, Basin governments are working together to plan for when the drought breaks to return sufficient flow in the Darling River.

"It is in everyone's interests to improve our scientific understanding of what our rivers need to be healthy, so we can continue to improve river management.

"The Basin Plan is all about returning more water to the environment to help prevent these types of events in the future. The Plan provides an extra 320 gigalitres per year, on average, to the environment in the northern part of the Basin.

"The fish deaths in the Lower Darling and other parts of the Basin are a terrible reminder of the effects of drought and of how much more work we have to do to restore the Basin's rivers to full health."

Colin Mues, Executive Director of Science and Knowledge, Murray–Darling Basin Authority.

ENDS

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