Blackwater events and fish-kills don’t just happen out west says Oakeshott | Rob Oakeshott | Independent for Cowper

Independent candidate for Cowper, Rob Oakeshott, has released photos he referred to on ABC Radio National breakfast last week depicting fish-kills and blackwater events in north coast rivers.

 Yarrahapinni Wetlands Jan 2015                          Belmore River, Gladstone Jan 2015

"After getting credible verification I am releasing seven of the photos I mentioned in last weeks interview with Fran Kelly on RN. They show examples of fish-kills from either deoxygenated or acidic water – often called blackwater events – and were sent to me by a local contact concerned about the health of our north coast rivers," said Mr Oakeshott.

What we see in these photos obviously doesn't come close to the scale of the fish-kills witnessed at Menindee Lakes, where an estimated one million fish died. But there appears to be a similar lack of information being shared with the community and a similar lack of enthusiasm for engaging in any strategy to help prevent this happening again.

Fisherman's Reach, Jan 2015                                   Menacrabinni Lane, May 2012

These photos appear to be from 2015, and earlier, and I am surprised the community has not previously been informed by State and Federal Governments about what is happening," Oakeshott said. 

“I am not arguing fish-kills are new, and I am aware they can occur naturally. But their frequency is rising, and I am receiving reports of increasing concern from local Elders, professional and recreational fishers, oyster farmers, and tourism operators.

The information on fish-kills should be public, so we can all track the size and trend of these kills and help minimise it happening in the future," said Oakeshott.

The community has a right to know when these events occur, instead of being left in the dark on blackwater events within our region," said Oakeshott.

River health is something people here want to know about because our rivers and beaches are central to how we live on the north coast. And from this public knowledge, comes an increasing demand for positive programs related to river health, and with water in general.

Instead, at the moment, we get what seems to be secrecy and cover-ups and no strategy to minimise future fish-kills," Oakeshott said.


    Belmore River, Gladstone Jan 2015                  Menacrabinni Lane, May 2012                     Belmore River, Gladstone Jan 2015                                           

For further details, please contact Deb Spillane


M: 0418 603513