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Media Releases

Blue-green algae remains despite welcome rain

POSTED: 
18 March 2016

Rain across the state has not had a significant impact on the current blue-green algae bloom impacting the Murray River and other waterways in northern Victoria.

Emergency Management Commissioner, Craig Lapsley, said Friday’s rain and the onset of cooler weather, whilst welcome, was not enough to make significant inroads into the algal bloom which stretches from Lake Hume to Murrabit and in parts of the Loddon River and Kerang Lakes.

“We  expect the bloom to remain in the Murray and other water bodies in northern Victoria into April, or until conditions improve, however we’re reminding visitors and locals that town water supplies are safe to drink,” he said.

With duck hunting season beginning on Saturday and the Easter break only a week away, visitors to the region are reminded to avoid direct contact with affected water.

While the algae incident will have some impact on some tourism operators, Tourism Victoria is working with Victoria’s Regional Tourism Boards to ensure the region’s attractions and events are being actively promoted.

Murray Regional Tourism CEO Mark Francis said visitors were being encouraged to explore the region this Easter and school holiday period.

“There are plenty of opportunities for visitors to enjoy activities along the Murray River including paddle-steamer and boat cruises, golf, hiking, bush walking, bike riding, events and wonderful food and wine experiences,” he said.

Meanwhile, duck hunters visiting the region for the opening of the season this weekend are warned about the dangers to both themselves and their dogs consuming algae-affected water. Hunters are urged to visit the Game Management Authority’s website for more information.

Extensive water sampling continues along the Murray River all the way to South Australia. There are currently no specific alerts issued downstream of Murrabit, for towns such as Swan Hill or Mildura.

Visitors to northern Victoria are being encouraged to monitor blue-green algae alerts and public warnings by visiting www.emergency.vic.gov.au/bluegreenalgae or  www.g-mwater.com.au

For further health information, visit health.vic.gov.au/public-health/water/blue-green-algae-cyanobacteria