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Truss releases Murray-Darling Basin salinity strategy.

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AFFA01/257WT 17 September 2001

Truss releases Murray-Darling Basin Salinity Strategy

A 15-year plan to control salinity in the Murray-Darling Basin was released today by the chairman of the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council and Federal Minister for Agriculture, Warren Truss.

Mr Truss said the strategy is the result of over two years work and extensive consultation with the basin communities and governments.

"The Basin Salinity Management Strategy provides a framework for communities and Governments within the basin that will be used to control salinity and protect natural resource values," Mr Truss said.

"For each basin tributary catchment, the strategy sets targets for salinity at both river and end-of-valley sites, with an overall basin target at Morgan in South Australia.

"The basin target is to maintain a salinity level of less than 800 EC (electro-conductivity) units for 95 per cent of the time."

Mr Truss said that river salinity targets will provide a framework for Government and communities to agree on investments relating to:

sustainable farming systems, ● targeted re-forestation, ● salt interception schemes, ● river flow management, and ●

new commercial uses of salt and salinised land. ●

"The targets will also be the basis for accountability arrangements to track effort and progress on commitments. The MDBC has agreed on interim targets for the basin and a timetable for the completion of targets in NSW and Queensland."

"At its last meeting, in March this year, the Council also agreed to a program of salinity interception schemes worth $60 million over seven years.

"The Basin Salinity Management Strategy is compatible with the $1.4 billion National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality, the $2.5 billion Natural Heritage Trust, State salinity strategies, and regional catchment or salinity management plans," Mr Truss said.

Copies of the strategy are available from the Murray-Darling Basin Commission by calling (02) 6279 0100 and on the MDBC web site

MDBC contact: Lawrie Kirk 0417 219 158 or 02 6279 0107.

Minister's office: Yvonne Best (02) 6277 7520 or 0418 415 772

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Last updated 17 September 2001

URL: Commonwealth of Australia 2001