Healthy fish, healthy rivers and healthy farms

Media release | 25 July 2022

NSW farmers and native fish species will benefit from modern fish-protection screens, which will protect aquatic life as well as valuable farming equipment.

Minister for Lands and Water Kevin Anderson said Round 1 of the $20 million screening program is now open with farmers able to apply for grants for new and innovative technology.

“Healthy rivers lead to a healthy environment and healthy farms. Native fish are a major indicator of a healthy river systems which is why modern fish screens are so important,” Mr Anderson said.

“These fish screens not only keep native fish safe and healthy, they protect important irrigation infrastructure used by our farmers, reducing expensive shutdowns and machinery repairs.”

Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said this new technology would protect native fish and benefit farmers who install it.

“This project is about supporting the innovators who want to try this important practice for irrigation and water use,” Mr Saunders said.

“These screens will protect millions of native fish, as well as the environment, improving recreational fishing and deliver cleaner water, which is good for fish and good for our farms.”

Up to 150 pumps on the Lower Mehi and Barwon-Darling rivers will be screened under the program, with sites selected based on benefits to local and regional fish populations, value for money and the potential to support wider uptake.

Local businesses, where practicable, will be engaged to assist with the screen installations, which will provide a boost to employment in the region.

The $20 million fish screening program is part of the Northern Basin Toolkit that is funded by the Commonwealth Government and delivered by the NSW Government

NSW DPI Fisheries will manage the installation process, in partnership with Water Infrastructure NSW, and will work around business and watering schedules to ensure there is no interruption to supply.

Water users can submit an expression of interest on the Fish Screens Australia website www.fishscreens.org.au/eoi.

Applications are open until 31 August.

For more information email: fishscreens@dpi.nsw.gov.au or call 1800 677 572.

$20 million screening program is now open with farmers able to apply for grants for new and innovative technology.