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Council speaks up for Bourke’s water needs

Bourke Shire Council General Manager Leonie Brown on the Darling River with Bourke Mayor Barry Hollman. Photo TWH

Bourke Shire Council has raised concerns about water security for the town and the entire river system during a conference attended by federal and state government representatives.

The Murray Darling Association’s 79th National Conference was held in Murray Bridge which Ms Brown described as “a long drive but very well worth it.” Travelling with her was Bourke Shire Council Mayor, Barry Hollman.

The conference was attended by the Federal Water Minister Tanya Plibersek, and the Shadow Minister for Water, Senator Perin Davey.

Ms Brown said a focus of the meeting was the importance of providing water for the South Australian Coorong, a vital habitat for fish and birds which bought a response from Mr Hollman.

“The mayor was very vocal, regarding water security for Bourke, and securing water for critical human needs,” Mrs Brown said, “The mayor asked the question, ‘what makes one community more important than then critical human needs?’”

“There are a few things that we need to change in the Basin Plan and there were good points that were brought to the table. The big one was the 450 gigalitre buyback or infrastructure change to provide that 450GL to the Coorong fish and bird habitat.”

Mrs Brown said the Mayor’s message was well received by Minister Plibersek, who understood the importance of water security for Bourke and the entire river system.

“They had an executive meeting afterwards. And it was certainly raised again at that meeting. So, I think it resonated with her that, you know, we were serious.”

Mrs Brown said they were looking for answers why Bourke has not received more water infrastructure. […]

Read more in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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