Macquarie Cudgegong Environmental Flows Reference Group

Members of the Environmental Flows Reference Group standing under trees in a wetland

Members of the Environmental Flows Reference Group in the field. Photo T Hosking OEH

In the Macquarie valley, the community has a powerful and positive influence over river and floodplain health, through the Macquarie Cudgegong Environmental Flows Reference Group (EFRG).

Members are drawn from a range of local interest groups to provide advice on planning, management and monitoring of environmental water in the mid and lower Macquarie valley.

NSW OEH senior wetlands and rivers conservation officer Tim Hosking said the EFRG gave community members a very real chance to make a difference to the river system.

'Members – both community and government – really value that,' Mr Hosking said.

'The Macquarie has been a leader in environmental water in Australia, with releases from Burrendong Dam to benefit the Macquarie River and Macquarie Marshes since the early 1980s.

'The EFRG was formed in 2000 and formalised in 2004, though the community has had a role in decision-making since the late 1990s,' he said.

'Members have contributed to meeting the river's needs across a wide variety of weather conditions and water availability – from the millennium drought through to the 2010 floods and back to the comparatively dry conditions of 2013-2014.

'The EFRG is called upon to make highly complex decisions – particularly during drier years – that affect the health and resilience of rivers and wetlands throughout the catchment.'

The Environmental Flows Reference Group inspects the Marebone Fishway, Macquarie Marshes.

The Environmental Flows Reference Group inspects the Marebone Fishway, Macquarie Marshes. Photo T Hosking OEH

The EFRG brings together a range of interested groups including representatives from the Aboriginal community, NSW Local Land Services, Cudgegong Valley Water Users, Department of Primary Industries (Fisheries), Nature Conservation Council/Inland Rivers Network, Macquarie Effluent Creeks Association, Macquarie Marshes Environmental Landholders Association, Macquarie River Food and Fibre, NSW Office of Water, Office of Environment and Heritage, Water NSW, and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office (observer status).

The group is chaired by Ian Rogan, a Central Tablelands Local Land Services board member and agricultural scientist, who has a strong interest in the equitable sharing of water between the environment and extractive water users.

'The EFRG provides a formal mechanism for all stakeholders with an interest in water management to be consulted and have input into the planning, management and monitoring of environmental water in the catchment,' Mr Rogan said.

Mr Rogan believes one of the group's main priorities is to provide clearer communications on the use and management of environmental water.

The EFRG provides advice to the OEH on the management of environmental water from a number of sources, including:

Contact

You can contact the Macquarie Cudgegong EFRG:

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
PO Box 2111, Dubbo, NSW 2830
Phone (02) 6883 5330

Email tim.hosking@environment.nsw.gov.au

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Page last updated: 17 May 2016