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Professor Lee Baumgartner

Professor of Fisheries and River Management

Charles Sturt University

"My grade five teacher once said to my class “Future wars will be held over water”.

At that time it was such a strange comment which I found hard to grasp. Move forward 30 years and the Murray-Darling Basin is in the midst of a significant water war. North vs south, irrigators vs environment, governments vs communities. It is a significant social, economic and environmental issue which requires us to all work together to save our inland rivers.

The development of rivers, and solutions which allow irrigation and the environment to co-exist, is the focus of Prof Baumgartner's applied research. A former ASPIRE nominee, and winner of several national and international awards, he holds a PhD in applied ecology from University of Canberra (2005) and has worked in both academia and government on water issues. Prof Baumgartner has published over 180 scientific publications and secured over $20m in competitive funding in his career.

Prof Baumgartner is passionate about healthy rivers. His mantra "A healthy river is an economic and environmental engine" has been the topic of his recent research and engagement. He has written for the conversation, sat on parliamentary inquiries, been appointed to prime ministerial advisory panels and extensively consults with communities, including school groups, to communicate the science on river management. He is active in international and national media and works with both television and written press to convey his passion for healthy rivers."

State: New South Wales
Senator: Perrin Davey