Community update on response to fish deaths in the Lower Darling

As residents of the Wentworth Shire Council, you may be aware of the mass fish death event that has been occurring further up-river around Menindee. As the river travels south, it brings some of the low-quality water with it and you may have observed some fish deaths.

The NSW Government has released a community update to inform residents about what is happening and the response being taken. Please read the article below to ensure you are fully informed.

Community update on response to fish deaths in Menindee

The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) will be stood-down from Friday 31 March 2023 as agencies expand their water monitoring to downstream of Menindee following fish kills in the lower Darling-Baaka River.

The EOC was established on Saturday 18 March 2023 at the direction of State Emergency Operations Controller, Deputy Commissioner Emergency Management Peter Thurtell, to ensure fresh and clean water supply was maintained to the Menindee township and properties surrounding the Main Weir pool, as well as to coordinate the removal and disposal of as many of the fish as possible.

NSW Police Force Regional Emergency Operations Controller, Assistant Commissioner Brett Greentree, said the EOC has delivered on its priorities in and around Menindee, but key agencies would remain vigilant with monitoring and actioning where new risks are identified.

Established contacts and processes for clean-up in the event it is required in the future are also in place.

The coordination of operations has now returned to the control of individual agencies. NSW and Commonwealth Government agencies are continuing to monitor conditions, take samples and test water, and take actions to try to improve conditions, including dissolved oxygen (DO) levels, in the Murray Darling Basin.

To read the full media release please see below.

Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarship Program

This program aims to deliver cooperative learning through the extensive globalised agricultural network.

The benefits of the program are:

  • 14 weeks of purposeful learning and unique access to an approachable, global agricultural network.
  • Connections to the global alumni – 500 scholars in Australia and 2,000 worldwide.
  • Access to international businesses and individuals not otherwise reachable.
  • Selection of a research topic that will be of use to the business, community and industry.

For 2024, there is a particular focus on identifying scholars who focus on both resilience and drought.

The program components include:

  • 2023 Nuffield Australia National Conference: Chance to engage with the Nuffield network and agribusiness leaders, receive a program briefing and be announced as part of the latest intake. Successful applicants will attend the two-day conference and 1.5 day regional tour.
  • 2024 Contemporary Scholars Conference (CSC): One-week program for all newly-selected scholars from around the world. Scholars build networks, and consider international trade and policy issues. Scholars share and learn about different cultures, represent their country and industry, and enhance leadership skills.
  • 2024 Australian Focus Program (AFP): One to two week program which commences in Canberra with workshops and seminars to understand parliament, advocacy, policy, megatrends and key Australian agriculture issues. Scholars enhance their industry knowledge and visit a number of farms, agribusinesses and research facilities. There will also be a strong focus on drought resilience and sustainability in this part of the component.
  • 2024 Global Focus Program (GFP): Five-week, group travel experience spent in various countries across the world. Scholars select one GFP and investigate agricultural marketing, trade, environmental issues and experience social and cultural aspects of each region. Drought resilience research also forms part of the GFP programs.
  • 2024-25 Individual Study: Enables scholars to travel to countries of choice to study their chosen topic. This component is four/five weeks which doesn’t have to be concurrent travel.
  • 2024-25 Written and Verbal Reporting: A requirement of the scholarship and these are completed following the research. No requirement to provide donor workout copy. Reports are due in writing as well as online at virtual events and in person at the National Conference.

Each scholarship is valued at $35,000.

Who Can Apply?

Eligible applicants must be:

  • Between 28 to 45 years of age. Exceptional candidates outside this age range will be considered.
  • Citizen or permanent resident of Australia.
  • Engaged in farming, horticulture, fishing, or associated industries.
  • Intending to remain involved in food and fibre industries in Australia.


Following the flood impacts across Wentworth Shire, the council teams have been rejuvenating impacted areas for the community to once again enjoy.

𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝗻𝗼𝘁𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝗹𝗼𝘄:
‣ Playground Equipment has been assessed by (Hutchison Parks Services) and some are deemed unsafe, remaining closed until further notice.
‣ Arborist Audits have been conducted, with tree lopping underway across the shire.
‣ The river front grassed areas have been re-seeded. Please be mindful of these areas while grass recovers.

Please follow signage displayed at public parks and gardens for the safety of yourself and any children at play.

‣ The Buronga Nature Play and Pump Track is now open to the public (as of Friday 24 March), including the playground.
‣ O’Donnell Park
‣ Wentworth Wharf

‣ Fotherby Park – Playground equipment has been deemed unsafe, and therefore will be closed until further notice. Council are awaiting the removal of dead trees next week, the park will be opened following this, excluding the playground.
‣ Ski Reserve – Council are awaiting the removal of dead trees next week, the park will be opened following this.
‣ Junction Island – The walkway will remain closed until further notice. Council are currently undertaking a project to install a new bridge to Junction Island, and upgrade the existing walking path.
‣ Wentworth Riverfront Playground – the playground remains closed until further notice.

For the latest post flood information, visit

Wentworth Civic Centre Project Update

NSW State Election

The NSW State Election is Saturday 25 March.

Voting Centres in Wentworth Shire Council are open on Saturday 25 March from 8:00am – 6:00pm and include:

Wentworth Town Hall
24-28 Adelaide Street, Wentworth

Dareton Public School
Matong Street, Dareton

Midway Service Centre
6 Midway Drive, Buronga

For further information including early voting, visit

Road Rules Awareness Week (21-27 March)

Since 2013, Road Rules Awareness Week has given all road users – driverspedestriansmotorcyclistspassengers and bicycle riders – the chance to improve their knowledge of the NSW road rules.

Transport NSW promotes the rules that have the biggest impact on reducing road trauma, highlight the most misunderstood road rules, and provide an opportunity for road users to have their questions answered.

You can read more about the commitment to improving safety on the state’s roads on the Towards Zero website, and find graphics, quizzes and animations posted on the NSW Road Safety Facebook page.

Top 10 misunderstood road rules in NSW

1 – Roundabouts

2 – Pedestrians

3 – Mobile Phones

4 – Merging

5 – Keeping Left

6 – Headlights

7 – U-turns

8 – Safe following distances

9 – School zones

10 – Yellow traffic lights

Blue-green algae Report – 17 March 2023

WaterNSW has released a blue-green algae report for the Murray River, Darling River, Menindee Lakes and Darling Anabranch.

Summary for Wentworth Shire:


Murray River at Lock 9 & Fort Courage

Darling River at the Great Darling Anabranch – Silver City Highway crossing


Murray River at Buronga & Curlwaa

Darling River at Tolarno, Pooncarie, Burtundy, Ellerslie and Tapio.

Read the full blue-green algae report (17 March 2023):

Alert Definitions for Recreational Waters

Alert Definitions as specified in The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Guidelines for Managing Risks in Recreational Water 2008. The use of these guidelines is endorsed by the Scientific Subcommittee of the NSW Algal Advisory Group.

These alert levels represent ‘bloom’ conditions. Water will appear green or discoloured and clumps or scums could be visible. It can also give off a strong musty or organic odour. Algae may be toxic to humans and animals. Contact with or use of water from red alert areas should be avoided due to the risk of eye and skin irritation. Drinking untreated or boiled water from these supplies can cause stomach upsets. Alternative water supplies should be sought or activated carbon treatment employed to remove toxins. People should not fish when an algal scum is present. Owners should keep dogs away from high alert areas and provide alternative watering points for stock.

Blue-green algae may be multiplying, and the water may have a green tinge and musty or organic taste and odour. The water should be considered as unsuitable for potable use and alternative supplies or prior treatment of raw water for domestic purposes should be considered. The water may also be unsuitable for stock watering. Generally suitable for water sports, however people are advised to exercise caution in these areas, as blue-green algal concentrations can rise to red alert levels quickly under warm, calm weather conditions.

Blue-green algae occur naturally at low numbers. At these concentrations, algae would not normally be visible, however some species may affect taste and odour of water even at
low numbers and does not pose any problems for recreational, stock or household use.



Wentworth Shire Council wish to advise residents of Pooncarie township of raw water pumping issues which will affect the pressure and volumes for the coming weeks. Council Water teams are working hard to rectify this issue and will advise when raw water services return to normal.


Wentworth Shire Council in conjunction with NSW Health, continues to support the community from the widespread COVID-19 disease with the delivery of 10,000 test kits to the Wentworth Shire this week.

To collect your FREE 5pk test kit, visit one of the following locations:

Wentworth Shire Council Main Office

26-28 Adelaide Street, Wentworth NSW 2648

Midway Service Centre

6 Midway Drive, Buronga NSW 2739

Port Pitstop Café

21-27 Tarcoola Street, Pooncarie NSW 2648

Wentworth Library

23 Murray Street, Wentworth NSW 2648

Dareton Library

30 Millie Street, Dareton NSW 2717

Note: Limit of 1 x 5pk of test kits applies per person.