Save Delicate River Ecosystem from Development

Target: Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt, Australia

Goal: Protect the threatened and delicate Murray River ecosystem from mining and development

The Murray River in Australia supports delicate floodplains, wetland bird breeding grounds, and healthy drinking water for millions of people. This sensitive and vital ecosystem recently had its critically endangered status stripped, leaving it open to the development of mines, water diversion systems, and other projects that would pollute and destroy the river. Tell Greg Hunt, Australia’s Federal Environment Minister, that the environment is more important than big industry.

The Murray River is the third longest navigable river in the world. It supplies drinking water for over 1.5 million households and is an important source of income for many Aboriginal people. In addition, the river supports over 2,520 kilometers (1,565 miles) of unique aquatic and river bank ecosystems which are vital to soil conservation, animal and plant biodiversity, and fertile farmland.

After studying over 400 scientific papers and reports, the independent Threatened Species Scientific Committee decided that the evidence was overwhelming to support listing the river as critically endangered and in need of protection. The listing helps local farmers by protecting the land and water they depend on from pollution. But Greg Hunt doesn’t appear to be interested in science or what is good for the people. Delisting the Murray River is part of a pattern of opening up sensitive environmental areas to development despite what the science says.

Tell Greg Hunt that his blatant disregard of environmental science is not acceptable and to protect the delicate Murray River ecosystem.


Dear Mr. Hunt,

The Murray River is a critical water source that supports delicate wetlands, fertile farmland, and supplies clean water to millions of Australians. The destruction of this resource from mining, water diversion, and development would be a catastrophe for both the people and wildlife of Australia. The Murray isn’t just an important national resource, but as the third longest navigable river in the world it’s an international treasure.

The independent Threatened Species Scientific Committee spent four and a half years reviewing over 400 scientific papers and reports on the Murray, and decided the evidence was overwhelming that the river should be listed as critically endangered. Delisting it goes contrary to all the science and evidence and will lead to pollution and the destruction of this valuable resource. It’s the wrong decision for animals, the wrong decision for local farmers, the wrong decision for Aboriginal people that depend on the river, and the wrong decision for Australia.

Mr. Hunt, we demand that you put the Murray river back on the critically endangered list.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Ignacio Palacios via Picture Nice

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One Comment

  1. Helene Beck says:

    I wrote to Australia about this matter and received the following reply from the Department of the Environment:
    “Dear Ms Beck,

    Thank you for your e-mail of 2. January 2014 to the Minister for the Environment, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP, concerning the listing of the River Murray and associated wetlands, floodplans and groundwater systems, from the junction with the Darling River to the sea (River Murray – Darling to Sea) ecological community as critically endangered. The minister has passed your letter to me for reply.

    The Australian Government has successfully passed a motion in the Parliament disallowing the instrument which listed the ecological community as critically endangered. This means the listing no longer has an effect. In coming to this decision, the Australian Government considered that any potential additional environmental benefits of listing the communities at such a scale would not sufficiently outweigh the uncertainty and potential regulatory burden for business and landholders in the region.

    The government is committed to providing effective environmental protection to the Murray – Darling Basin. The Australian Government will do this through full implementation of the Basin Plan and full utilisation of existing listings of wetlands, threatened species and ecological communities, and migratory birds in these specific areas and throughout the Basin. The government will also utilise the conservation advice from the Scientific Committee for the ecological community in the implementation of the Basin Plan, environmental watering decisions and other natural resource initiatives.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Assistant Secretary
    Protected Species and Communities Branch”

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