UNSW Global Water Institute was pleased to host a public forum recently on the Future of the Murray Darling Basin, allowing community voices from the far-west to discuss the issues being faced and suggest actions that could be taken to support healthy ecosystems and vibrant, growing communities.
The Forum, held at the UNSW Kensington Campus on Saturday 23 February, included nine presenters, each with their own perspectives on the Murray-Darling crisis and the way forward.
Moderated by Walkley-award winning journalist and documentary maker Kerry Brewster, the panel was comprised of Chris Lamey (irrigator), Rob and Kate McBride (owners of Tolarno Station), Prof Richard Kingsford (Director, UNSW Centre for Ecosystem Science), Mary-Anne Slattery (Australia Institute), Alan Whyte (citrus irrigator), Chris Minns (NSW Labor Party), Roy Butler (NSW Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party), David Shoebridge (NSW Greens Party) and Jeremy Buckingham (NSW Independent).
Prof Greg Leslie, Director of UNSW-GWI, said that the forum provided a much-needed opportunity for community representatives, scientists, experts and politicians to get together for a productive discussion.
“We focused on opportunities and the importance of taking action at this critical time, rather than laying blame and lamenting the dire state of the basin,” said Prof Leslie.
Kerry Brewster agreed with Prof Leslie, saying, “Everyone knows the Darling River is dying. The Forum gave voice to witnesses to this unfolding environmental catastrophe. Policy and scientific experts told the forum that the Murray-Darling Basin Plan had failed and the politicians who were present stressed that urgent action was required to save the river.”
The full recording of the Forum is now available on YouTube.