Gutting the heart and soul of the Murray

Stefano De Pieri; 16/4/10, (2 Items)

I think of the mighty river red gum forests as being the heart and soul of the Murray River and its floodplain. Barmah-Millewa, the largest red gum forest left on Earth, is a refuge of struggling green life in a now barren landscape. My life and work on the banks of the Murray River in NSW and Victoria for the past 18 years have not inured me to the enormous tragedy of this place. The tragedy of a landscape that has been cleared, cultivated, irrigated, logged, and grazed and a river that has been dammed, denuded, over-allocated, over-fished and polluted. The tragedy of the most compromised landscape on the continent.


Plant still polluting river beyond guidelines
Ben Cubby 20/4/10
The NSW government has tightened the pollution licence of a coal-fired power plant near Lithgow that is releasing toxic metals into a river that feeds Sydney’s drinking water supply. Delta Electricity, the owner of Wallerawang power plant, must now monitor heavy metals and pollutants such as arsenic flowing into a channel that enters the Coxs River and report back to the government every three months. But the latest results show that Delta is still polluting the river above safe guideline levels in some instances, more than two years after the government was warned that discharges from the plant were killing aquatic life. The amount of copper leaching into the river remains above Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council guidelines, at levels that can be deadly for fish and other river creatures.