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Published: 26 February 2010   •   Media release

The Murray-Darling Blue-green Algal Bloom Advisory Panel set up last year by Commonwealth and State governments is to reconvene to discuss the worsening outbreak of bloom in the Murray River.

Murray-Darling Basin Authority Chief Executive Rob Freeman, said the panel would meet on Tuesday, 2 March.

It will be chaired by the Authority and include experts in water quality, river ecology, public health and animal health/toxicology and senior Commonwealth and state officials.

Mr Freeman said the panel would provide advice on the best and most appropriate response to the blue-green algae outbreak currently affecting the River Murray.

It would also consider the longer term implications of algal blooms based on experience with this bloom and with the similar bloom of 2009.

"The Panel will assist the Authority and State agencies as they work closely together on this latest growing outbreak," Mr Freeman said.

"There are also longer term implications of recurring algal blooms which are best dealt with at a strategic level by the Panel."

"While coordinated management arrangements for algal blooms are already in place at the regional level, the panel will explore whether any more can be done to address future management requirements in the face of continuing drought".

A large part of the River Murray on the New South Wales and Victorian border is currently affected by algal blooms and the NSW Murray Regional Algal Coordinating Committee has issued several red alerts to date.

The affected water is not suitable for drinking and may cause gastroenteritis in humans if consumed and skin and eye irritations after contact.

It is most important that people avoid contact with water in the river in affected areas and follow advice from local authorities.

Media contact: Sam Leone, phone (02) 6279 0141

Photo: Arthur Mostead

For more information on latest alerts and media releases on the blue-green algal blooms in the River Murray System.

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