The Australian Government is providing $6.6 million to the Queensland Government to deliver a program of work that could see more young native fish survive in the northern Murray-Darling Basin rivers.
The Fish Friendly Water Extraction Project in the Condamine–Balonne and Border Rivers regions will see funds allocated to install pump screens at river off-takes, to help protect small and baby fish from being pumped out of rivers.
Screens also assist in reducing maintenance of pumps and increase efficient watering.
It is hoped that the initiative will provide a boost to local jobs through pump screen manufacturing and installation.
The Fish Friendly Water Extraction Project is one of 10 Northern Basin Toolkit projects that together keep 70GL of water in productive use, while improving the health of our rivers and wetlands and the animals and plants that rely on them.
The project aims to involve the irrigation industry, local government, First Nations, recreational fishers and other relevant community groups.
National Irrigators’ Council chief executive officer Isaac Jeffrey welcomed the news, calling it “a great investment.”
“NIC has advocated for the Northern Basin Toolkit and projects which deliver practical outcomes for our rivers,” Mr Jeffrey said. “Farmers are locals too and they love to see healthy rivers and fish populations.”