Heads must roll and people must be held accountable at Water NSW after repeated mistakes led to the worst fish kill in Menindee on record, says Cate Faehrmann, Greens MP and water spokesperson. She also condemned the Water Minister for being missing in action and abandoning the Far West during a crisis that has gained international attention.
Cate Faehrmann made the comments in response to a visit to Menindee today. Five days after the fish kill hit she is the first politician to visit Menindee Lakes. Cate was taken down the Darling-Baaka River by boat to assess the fish kills and attended an emergency town hall meeting called by the NSW Police.
“Where are Dominic Perrottet and Chris Minns? The community has every right to feel abandoned. This is the biggest fish kill the state has ever seen, yet the National Party Water Minister hasn’t even feigned concern with a drive by on a speedboat,” said Cate Faehrmann.
“Someone must be held accountable for this monumental stuff up. Successively worse fish kills over recent years point to incompetence and mismanagement at Water NSW. Questions have to be asked around the timing, volume and quality of water released and let into the Menindee weirs.
“As the Water Minister is incommunicado I will be seeking to establish an Inquiry into this whole sorry saga, including the causes, when the parliament resumes.
"The first community meeting since the fish kills occurred five days ago was held today but unfortunately the community’s questions largely went answered.
“A number of locals asked questions as to how this could happen again, just four years after the devastating fish kills of 2018/19, when they were promised that strong action would be taken. They were stonewalled.
“Locals also wanted answers as to whether over extraction by big corporate agriculture in the Northern Basin was to blame. These questions too were dodged.
“The Menindee and Lower Darling-Baaka communities deserve answers and action and I’ll be pursuing this matter in the next parliament until we get both,” said Cate Faehrmann.
More information: Jacob Miller - 0428 837 292