Fury over Darling fish deaths

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IN the aftermath of up to a million fish dying in the lower Darling River, local grazier Kate McBride from Tolarno Station has given a hard-hitting interview on a commercial TV channel, in which she places the blame for the disaster squarely at the feet of government water authorities. This is not because of the drought, she says, it is "man made" and could have been avoided had several years of water in Menindee Lakes not been squandered. Where did the water go?

Meanwhile an emotional video made by two other locals has gone viral on Facebook. In it, Menindee locals Rob McBride and Dick Arnold, stand knee deep in the putrid water of the Darling holding two Murray cod they say are many years old and would have survived many previous droughts.  Like Kate, they say the large scale fish deaths are not due to drought but are "brought to you by the NSW government".

For his part, NSW Water Minister Niall Blair visited Menindee on Wednesday to survey the carnage first hand, but snubbed the 160 concerned community members who had gathered to speak to him. "Security concerns" have been cited as the reason Blair didn't stop.

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