Gippsland Lakes need Federal Government Help

The Greens are questioning the 'clean green Gippsland' claims after reports this week shows the Gippsland Lakes are almost damaged beyond repair.

"If we can measure the health of our agriculture by the health of the Gippsland lakes, then we are probably not very clean or green at all," said Dr Malcolm McKelvie, Greens candidate for the Gippsland by-election.

  "We can all see that the Gippsland Lakes are in the throes of totalecosystem collapse at the moment.  All marine life is dying and even thewater rats are starving as the bottom end of the food chain collapses,"said Dr McKelvie.  "The problem is bigger than just the blight of thepermanent algal bloom."

  "The scientific report just published by Dr Peter Fisher points to cause being nutrient, sediment and toxics loads from agriculture and industrial processes throughout the whole Gippsland catchment", said Dr McKelvie.

  "The report says that the cause of the lakes death is from many sources over the last couple of decades.  It is in pesticide runoff from potates grown in Thorpedale, mercury from APM at Maryvale, penicillin given to dairy cows for mastitis, and the manure from 100,000 cows in thecatchment. As well last years fires and floods did not help the lakes plight."

  "The government needs to take a leadership role in rescuing the Gippsland Lakes. We need a long term solutions and Federal assistance to help our communities change their work practices. There are some simple actions like changing how we handle dairy waste that can reduce the pressure on the lakes”

  "Words are no longer enough. We have had more than 10 years of reports predicting the collapse of the lakes.  Now it is really happening, the Federal Government needs to stop ignoring Gippsland and help us clean up the lakes."

For further information please contact: Malcolm McKelvie 0417 364 615 Greens Candidate for Gippsland By Election 2008www.cgn.org.au/Malcolm_McKelvie gippsland@greens.org.au 

 

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