Professor Richard Kingsford – comment on the project

9/6/2020

The building of a re-regulating storage on the Macquarie River, as a proposed action has been referred to the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment for assessment against Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES) (EPBC Act referral 2020/8652).

Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES)

  • First, the referral acknowledges that the proposed action is likely to have a direct or indirect impact on the ecological character of the Ramsar listed Macquarie Marshes, but concludes that this impact is not significant. This is clearly wrong and contradicts the overwhelming scientific evidence for the management of the health of the Macquarie Marshes and scientific understanding of river flow and inundation regimes, the listed advice on the management of the ecological character of the Marshes as a Ramsar site, as well as the evidence presented in this submission.
  • Second, the referral acknowledges that the proposed action is likely to have a direct or indirect impact on nationally listed threatened species or their habitats or any threatened ecological community, concluding that this impact is significant. This submission supports this conclusion, based on the scientific evidence but points out the inadequacy of the proponent’s preliminary assessment in relation to the level of impact.
  • Third, the referral acknowledges that the proposed action is likely to have a direct or indirect impact on listed migratory species or their habitats but then concludes that this impact is unlikely to be significant. This is clearly wrong and contradicts the overwhelming scientific evidence for the management of the health of the Macquarie Marshes and scientific understanding of river flow and inundation regimes, the listed advice on the management of the ecological character of the Marshes as a Ramsar site, as well as the evidence presented in this submission.

See the full submission below in PDF form.

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