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Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 400. Updated Tuesday, 11 March 2014

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$10m poured into new Basin project

A $10 million research project has been announced to improve environmental water use in the Murray-Darling Basin.

In announcing the project, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, Senator Simon Birmingham, said the six-year project would provide a better understanding of how environmental watering improved river, wetland and floodplain health over time.

"Having spent billions of dollars recovering water for environmental purposes it is critical that it is used as effectively as possible," Senator Birmingham said.

He said the project would be coordinated regionally by the Wodonga and Mildura-based Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centres.

Probe into environmental water

Other research organisations and Government Agencies working in the Basin would also take part, he said.

The role of invasive species, polluted runoff and reduced vegetation cover in the health of ecosystems in the Basin would also be better understood.

"This will help us better manage our environmental water and track progress towards meeting the objectives of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan for a healthy working Basin," he said.

The research will also support an important assessment of floodplain vegetation watering requirements in the Northern Basin.

The Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre is supported through a partnership between La Trobe University, CSIRO and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, and has more than 25 years of expertise and knowledge of Basin ecology.

"The Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre also has strong connections with other research organisations working in the Basin and with Commonwealth and State Agencies and is well placed to lead this collaborative research effort," Senator Birmingham said.

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