Dying Moorabool River needs big drinks of water

Media releases

Issued on behalf of the People for a Living Moorabool

Farmers, conservationists, and others available for interview + photos and HD overlay

Film premiere on Saturday 26 June in Ballarat

A cleared and desiccated stretch of the east branch of the Moorabool River
Credit: People for A Living Moorabool

“The Moorabool River will continue to deteriorate and die unless we give back some of its water,” says Cameron Steele, coordinator of river protection group, People for A Living Moorabool.

“We’re calling on the Victorian government to give back 20,000 megalitres per year,” he says.

“The Moorabool flows from the Central Highlands near Ballarat through to Geelong – in theory. Sometimes, the Moorabool barely makes it to its junction with the Barwon River.” 

“It’s Victoria’s most flow-stressed river.  About 90 percent of the Moorabool’s natural flow is now taken for human use, primarily for Ballarat and Geelong.”

Native vegetation along a beautiful stretch of the Moorabool River near Sheoaks
Credit: People for A Living Moorabool

“Despite the pressure, the Moorabool still has wonderful gorges and valleys.  Some sections contain iconic Australian wildlife, such as the platypus and rakali, as well as beautiful riverside bushland.  However, unless the Moorabool gets more water to restore its health, the river will continue to deteriorate and completely die.”

Ian Penna, Moorabool River farmer and PALM supporter said:

“We have watched the river deteriorate because of lower flows.  Scientific research from 2005 shows the Moorabool needs a minimum increase in its environmental flow of 20,000 megalitres a year if it is to have a healthy future.  This is now only about 5,000 megalitres”.

As one of the film production team, Mr Penna said: “We created a film, “the River Moorabool”, which documents the best and worst of the river and explores how we can restore it.”

“Options include smarter management of farm and government dams to reduce water loss/waste plus increased urban use of recycled water, waste water, and desalination.”

Mr Steele said:

“We are facing our last chance to secure a long-term future for this river and its wildlife.”

“After seeing our film, we want citizens using the river and drinking its water to tell the Victorian government to give the Moorabool River the regular big drinks it deserves.”

For further information, contact:

Cameron Steele, PALM Coordinator: ipenna@bigpond.com
Ian Penna, PALM film production team: cameron.steele.au@gmail.com>

The film’s official trailer (3:45 minutes) is at https://vimeo.com/349830144 and below

A recent film promo (2:21 minutes) is at https://vimeo.com/555665688 and below