Media Release: Baird Government continues to risk future of Menindee Lakes

In Parliament | 02.02.16

Baird Government continues to risk future of Menindee Lakes

The Baird Government has ignored calls from community groups and local government to protect one of the State’s most pristine wetland environments.

Since 2015 Broken Hill Council has repeatedly urged the Baird Government to provide support its attempts to have the Menindee Lakes listed under the Convention on Wetlands – a process known as the Ramsar Convention. 

Despite the relatively small request for support and endorsement, the Government has ignored the call to help Broken Hill Council have the wetlands internationally recognised.

The Broken Hill community has been actively campaigning to have the wetland’s current management improved following the continuing decline in its health.

The NSW Opposition has urged the Baird Government to support the call from the community and Broken Hill Council to protect a vital wetland.

The Menindee Lakes plays a key part in the local community from domestic water supply and agriculture, to aboriginal culture, local recreation and environmental quality. Ramsar listing would help manage this important environmental asset.

Shadow Environment Minister Penny Sharpe says;

“Ramsar listing for the Menindee Lakes should be a no brainer. The Menindee Lakes supports over 75 species of birds and 222,000 individual birds every year.”

“The Menindee Lakes are an environmental haven. A responsible government would step in and offer its full support to protecting this pristine wetland.”

“The Baird Government should get behind a formal nomination to have this unique wetland recognised and protected for the future – it would also be a boon for tourism in the far west.”

“ To be listed as a Ramsar Wetland, the wetland has to meet nine criteria. Menindee Lakes meets all nine. It’s time the Government stepped in and put forward the support the community has called for.”