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Water – Our Most Precious Resource

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Water – Our Most Precious Resource

Dewfish Demonstration Reach – The fish are Back!

Condamine Alliance, QLD

The Dewfish Demonstration Reach is fast becoming the pride and joy of the Condamine catchment in Queensland. Not only is it Queensland’s first Native Fish Strategy demonstration reach but it is proving that it can bring back the fish. This is great news at a time when native fish populations are down by 90% since European settlement. Determined to restore native fish numbers to 60%, Condamine Alliance developed a river rehabilitation plan and has led a revival mission since 2006 to ‘bring back the fish’. The urgency of the project, together with the community’s high regard for the river, has mobilised and empowered a new generation of river custodians across community, business, industry and government. The enormity of social and economic upshots of the Reach has both surprised and delighted all those involved in this pioneering project. Strong community and industry partnerships have attracted $2 million of co-investment from major players and helped spread the story far and wide. Ask any local and they will be most proud of the return of three native fish species not seen in the catchment for up to 15 years. The Reach may have a simple goal but for this community ‘bringing back the fish’ is a giant battle that must be won.

Comments from Judges

The environmental outcomes are impressive, with wide engagement of stakeholders. The project delivers nationally important outcomes and demonstrated success with well formed and sustained partnerships and high leverage factor from volunteers and co-investors. The judges were also impressed with the degree of public support and community engagement – clearly demonstrating the spirit of success at all levels.