Wealth of data triggers revised reporting date for Academies’ expert advice on fish kills

February 07, 2019

The Expert Panel convened by the Australian Academy of Science to investigate the fish kills in the Murray-Darling River system in NSW has requested an additional week to deliver their independent science advice on this important issue.

The additional time is allowing the Expert Panel to:

  • Thoroughly analyse the extensive data that has been provided by a number of Federal and State agencies including the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, the Land and Water Division of the NSW Department of Industry, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, the NSW Department of Primary Industries, the Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office, in addition to data and information provided by researchers in many related fields. The Expert Panel wishes to acknowledge the cooperation of these bodies and individuals in promptly providing data.
  • Continue to consult as widely as possible, including with Indigenous water experts. It is in the national interest to ensure all the available multidisciplinary knowledge is brought to bear in assessing this concerning situation and to help inform the scientific advice being prepared for this review.

    The Expert Panel chair Professor Craig Moritz FAA and Expert Panel member, Professor Sue Jackson, this week visited Menindee to meet with the local Mayor, Indigenous elders and other stakeholders. They also toured affected areas, witnessing firsthand several large Murray cod in dire condition in the Darling River. This visit provided a wealth of information to help inform their review.
  • Allow the Expert Panel’s final report to be independently peer-reviewed, including by international scientists.
  • Consider the additional fish kill events that have occurred since the Expert Panel was first assembled.

A verbal progress update will be provided to the Leader of the Opposition by the Chair of the Expert Panel before the parliamentary sitting fortnight and the final report will now be provided by 17 February and it will be made public. 

Media note: Expert Panel members will not be conducting media interviews on the Panel’s work while they conduct the review but will be available to speak to media once the final report is made public.  

Media contact: Dan Wheelahan – dan.wheelahan@science.org.au – ph: 0435 930 465

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