Australia: Resources Sector Welcomes Public Reporting on Fitzroy River Health

The peak body for the resources sector in Queensland has welcomed the launch of the first Fitzroy River Report Card as a clear demonstration of the Fitzroy Partnership’s aim to provide a more comprehensive picture of river health.

The Chief Executive of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Michael Roche says the sector strongly believes that scientifically robust information is the best way to build trust between all parts of the community, and to gain a clear picture of how every user of the Fitzroy Basin contributes to the health of the river.

‘This is a collaborative way to move the discussion away from mine water discharges towards achieving the best outcomes for the river,’ said Mr Roche.

‘As well as being a direct member of the partnership, QRC strongly supported our members’ participation,‘ he said.

The QRC was among 26 organisations involved in the delivery of the first report card for the Fitzroy Basin on the collective health of its rivers, creeks, estuary and related marine environment.

The report card developed by the Fitzroy Partnership for River Health, used the best available science to assess waterway health for the Nogoa, Isaac, Connors, Dawson and Mackenzie River systems and the Fitzroy River estuary as well as reporting on the condition of the marine environment.

Results were scrutinised by an independent science panel, chaired by Professor Barry Hart to ensure that methods used for assessment were relevant to Fitzroy Basin waterways.

Mr Roche noted that the 2010/11 report card related to a period that experienced the largest flood discharge volumes in recorded history for the Fitzroy Basin.

‘These unprecedented discharges generated significantly larger than normal sediment and nutrient loads.

‘Notwithstanding the special circumstances prevailing in 2010/11, the report card will provide valuable information for comparison in future years as more report cards are produced.’

Almost $1 million, plus extensive in-kind monitoring support, was used to establish the partnership and deliver the first report card for the period from July 2010 to June 2011.

Press Release, June 5, 2013

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