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Re-establishment of natural rock weirs along the Darling should be a priority

29 October, 2019
Re-establishment of natural rock weirs along the Darling should be a priority  Image

The re-establishment of natural rock weirs along the Darling River is a critical water project worthy of Government investment according to the Member for Barwon, Roy Butler.

Mr Butler called for the Government to include the re-establishment of the rock weirs as part of the Water Supply (Critical Needs) Bill.

“The natural rock weirs would assist in a quick restart of flow in the river, by keeping more water in the river bed and allow habitat for native fish when flows stop. It would also assist in reinforcing stock, domestic and town water supplies by keeping more water in the river bed.

“In the days of paddle steamer trade along the Darling, the de-snagging of the river was an important task for river boat crews. This work resulted in many of the rock weirs being blown-up.”

Following Mr Butler’s request for the re-establishment of the rock weirs along the Darling to be included in the Water Supply Bill the Government moved to include the Western Weirs Program.

“The inclusion of the Western Weirs program came quite late, I understand it’s a collection of separate weir projects under one banner. Unlike the other projects listed in the Bill, there’s scarce detail on the weirs program.

“It’s only reasonable to expect there might be some details when the Government labels a program ‘critical State significant infrastructure.

“The rock weirs – their locations and benefits – is information we can find in history books, and in the history of the Barkandji.

“The re-establishment of the rock weirs provides an opportunity for the Government to do some good for the Darling River. It’s a project that would keep more water in the river for longer, ensure flows travel further, involve the local Aboriginal community and provide some much needed investment.

"Local Government have the people, the equipment and the skills to start work on the rock weirs immediately, we just need the Government to recognise the importance of this work.”

Mr Butler will continue to pursue the inclusion of the natural rock weirs on the
Darling through his Legislative Council colleagues.

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