Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment Simon Birmingham has congratulated the Glenelg River project on winning the 2013 Australian Riverprize.
Senator Birmingham presented the prize to the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority at the 16th International Riversymposium in Brisbane.
“In undertaking this project farming families in the Glenelg River Basin, south of the Grampians in Victoria, worked with conservation groups and industry to carry out what has become the biggest river fencing and protection program in Victoria’s history,” Senator Birmingham said.
“This collaborative project has received national recognition for restoring a river that was previously at the point of ecological collapse.
“Healthy rivers are critical to the preservation of our environment, productive capacity of our farms and amenity of our communities.”
To complete this massive project, over 600 property owners constructed 1,600 km of fencing, planted more than 500,000 trees and rehabilitated water way frontage.
The resulting health improvements in the river system are demonstrated by native fish populations increasing by over 150 per cent in restored river reaches.
Senator Birmingham said the Australian Riverprize recognises the work of communities in caring for our rivers to hand healthy environs onto future generations.
“I also congratulate the other finalists of this year’s Riverprize from Tweed River in New South Wales and Lake Condah in Victoria,” Senator Birmingham said.
The Australian Riverprize consists of $150,000 in cash prizes and a $50,000 grant for the winner to establish a twinning project within Australia. The objectives of the twinning activities are to share resources and experience, transfer relevant technologies and tools, rehabilitate degraded catchments and improve socio-economic standards within the river system.
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