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River will stop flowing unless action taken

Local film calls for new water sources to meet population growth

A new locally made film which highlights the plight of the Moorabool River raises the need for new sources of water to meet population growth in Geelong and Ballarat. 

About 90 percent of the Moorabool’s “natural flow” is now taken for human use and unless major steps are taken to restore the river’s health it will stop flowing altogether.

Those steps might include reuse, recycling or desalination of water says Bannockburn’s Cameron Steele of the community group People for a Living Moorabool (PALM).

PALM made the film “The Moorabool River” with Sheoaks Films of Torquay.

Melbourne University water law specialist, Erin O’Donnell says the film is “compelling, powerful and utterly beautiful and information rich…..it really deserves to be seen by a wide audience”, given its release ahead of the Victorian Government’s review of the Central Region Sustainable Water Strategy.

The Moorabool River is located in that region.   

Mr Steele says that the Moorabool River and its wildlife are in dire circumstances because so much of the catchment’s water is removed from the river or not allowed to get into the river.

The film explores the consequences of this dramatic demand for the catchment’s water, especially in the face of climate change.

Interviewees call for alternative water supplies for Geelong and Ballarat to reduce the pressure on the Moorabool so more water can flow down the river.

The film features local landowners, scientists, and healthy river advocates, as well as spectacular and wide-ranging views of the Moorabool river valley and catchment.

“We hope when people have seen the film that they will lobby their politicians to take action to ensure the Moorabool can be restored to good health,” Mr Steele says.

The film will be screened on Saturday 3 July from 7pm at the Peter Thwaites Lecture Theatre, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds Campus. 

Each screening will be followed by a panel discussion with some of the people that appear in the film.

Tickets are available from Eventbrite at Eventbrite.com.au

The film will also be screened at Bannockburn and Ballan.