National Irrigators’ Council has commended the federal government’s commitment to progress a plan to remove carp from Australia’s waterways.

Chair of the Council Gavin McMahon welcomed the announcement by the Australian Government of $15 million in the 2016 federal budget towards the plan, which includes the intended release of a carp – specific herpes virus.

“The National Carp Control Plan is a welcome step in the right direction,” Mr McMahon said.

The Council has long supported other parallel measures to ensure the environmental health of the Murray Darling Basin, noting that reforms under the Basin Plan should not focus solely on water as the singular management tool, but must include a range of measures that are focused equally on food and fibre production, the socio and economic outcomes for regional communities and the environment.

“Just adding water alone is not the only solution to environmental challenges in the Basin. The Council has been vocal in its support for measures to control excessive carp numbers which impact water quality and the habitat of native fish species by damaging river beds, billabongs and wetlands.

“Farmers and communities who live and work alongside our waterways understand full well the devastating impact of carp and welcome a time when rivers and streams are able to provide the right environmental backdrop for native fish populations to thrive,” Mr McMahon said.

Mr McMahon commended the Government for announcing the Plan, noting that the work undertaken to date has involved years of testing by Australian scientists to determine the right biological control approach.

“At the time of the release of the carp herpes virus, it will be critical to ensure that the restocking of systems occurs in such a manner that will enable native species to have every opportunity to thrive, to mitigate any carp reinvasion, ” Mr McMahon said.

Contact : Gavin McMahon : 0419 038 962