RiverSmart Australia Ltd is a registered not-for-profit organisation  -  ABN 52 134 395 636

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What we do


RiverSmart's slogan of 'Rivers for people, wildlife and sustainability' conveys the key message of this initiative: mobilising people to take a more active role in revitalising our ailing rivers and floodplains.


All Australians, irrespective of where we live, have an impact on the health of our rivers.  We've called this your 'river footprint®'.


Every Australian can also play a role in seeing our rivers and streams rehabilitated. 


RiverSmart aims to offer these opportunities, whether it be in your home, your workplace, your farm or your school (see below).




Tips for saving water, and for cleaning up our rivers - click on how to be riversmart at home, school or work above....then you can immediately start making a difference.


See what else we do...download our December 2011 Newsletter for the year in review report (click). 




We need your help!

Please support our (tax deductible)

Blue Bucket Fund for
community projects

RiverSmart is a small catalytic organisation which operates to facilitate community-based projects.  We keep our overheads down so that the maximum value is achieved for every dollar we receive.  Why not help us out by donating to our tax deductible Blue Bucket Fund today, or as a regular deduction from your salary.  Our rivers will thank you in the long term.


Sustaining River Life Curriculum and activities guide is now available

RiverSmart is please to announce that this K-12 curriculum and activities guide for teachers and natural resource management practitioners is now available.  The 24 lesson plans it contains were assembled by Tanya Rucosky Noakes (ACT Waterwatch), with RiverSmart providing overall project coordination.  Special thanks to all the funding bodies - too many to list here.  If you'd like a printed or CD copy contact RiverSmart (see 'Contact us' tab above) or you can access it on-line through the web site www.sustainingriverlife.org.au  Feedback is welcome, see web site for details of where to direct your comments or suggestions.


How can you and your family
get riversmart ?

It's simple - click on the links below to find out how to become a RiverSmart:





How you can support our work


RiverSmart's Blue Bucket Fund gains status as a tax deductible gift recipient


On 16 December 2009 RiverSmart Australia Ltd was added to the Government's Register of Environmental Organisations and can now offer prospective supporters of our work tax deductibility for their donations.  Any donations must be directed to our 'Blue Bucket Fund' and from there will be used for supporting our work, especially community-based projects in our current project areas (see at right for further details).  Alternatively you could ask for your donation to support one of our 'SponsorShop' projects submitted by a community organisation.  Contact us for details.




RiverSmart successful with two Caring for our Country community grants

We're delighted to advise that RiverSmart received news recently of two successful community grants under the Federal Caring for our Country program.  One is to pilot test the concept of RiverSmart farms and this will be done on the lower Macquarie River in NSW. 

The other project sees us effectively 'launch' RiverSmart in the Riverland of South Australia. We've been working with the Yatco Wetland Landcare Group for some years and were pleased to help them attract funding for a project that will see interpretive information and a trail developed that promote their great work in reintroducing wetting and drying to Yatco wetland, in so doing generating significant water savings, and improving the health of the system. We look forward to our continuing work with this great Landcare group. 



Macquarie photocompetition winners


Each year the Central West CMA runs its photocompetition and for 2010 we joined them to offer a separate prize (an inflatable kayak valued at $500) for the best photo that showed people celebrating the Macquarie river.  First and second prize winners are shown below.  Thanks to all who entered. We'll you the other prize winners over the coming weeks.


First prize - Lazy Sunday Afternoon.  Submitted by Sharanne Turnbull.

Photo taken by her husband.


Second prize - River paddlers.  Taken by Jenet Stewart.




Capital Region RiverSmart

(Canberra-Queanbeyan region - click here to find out more)


Spinnaker Island rehabilitation

gets underway


Spinnaker Island, in the midst of Lake Burley Griffin, is about to undergo a facelift.


 RiverSmart, working with the Canberra Yacht Club, Greening Australia and the Molonglo Catchment Group, began the cleanup and rehabilitation on Sunday 15 August.  The island has, over the years, become overgrown with a smorgasboard of weed species including willows, blackberry, ivy and on it goes. 


So, the above organisations, with the approval and support of the National Capital Authority have formed a 'Friends of Spinnaker Island' group to remove the weeds and replant it with the open Yellow box-Red gum community it was before the lake was formed.


Despite the windy and damp weather, 26 keen Yacht Club volunteers got busy on Sunday piling up the willows felled by a contractor, ready for burning in a  few months time.  Next will be the smaller weeds and then the planting. Watch this space for updates.  See some photos below of all the action. 


Yacht Club volunteers making piles of woody weeds


Team work was needed to get this felled willow to shore.



And there's more - Project Platypus

Project Platypus is underway at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo.   The Education Team, in partnership with the Central West CMA, RiverSmart and other community partners have initiated this program, focussing on the Platypus in 2011.   This is a new and exciting community conservation education project aimed at supporting the platypus populations that live in the Western Region, through raising its profile in the local area.   Students will become advocates for the platypus, not just through raising awareness, but through facilitating behaviour change within their families and community.

 This pilot project commenced in late February with three schools from Dubbo and one from Wellington.   Each school visited the Zoo for a “Zoo Day”.  Excited children had the opportunity to touch insects, frogs and echidnas as they learned about food chains, biodiversity and conservation projects in the Zoo.   Afterwards they visited animal exhibits and learned first-hand about the role of a modern zoo.

 On Friday 11th March, an “Experts Day” will see a number of organisations assisting the zoo to visit the four schools and talk with students about the status, abundance and behaviour of platypus in their region, as well as their habitat and physical requirements.   They also get a helping hand to design their community conservation campaigns.

 The four schools will come together for a Field Day, to be held at Sandy Beach on 25th March.  This will assist with understanding habitat requirements, threats to the platypus and river health issues.

The project will culminate in a community/family Expo day, where students will demonstrate to the community their learning about the platypus in various mediums.

A second program will run in the latter part of 2011, and we are encouraging all schools in the region to be a part of this program.    Any interested schools should contact Kristy Robberts, the Senior Education Officer at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.



Time for the greening of the WOW site to begin


First we raised the money through the Tea for Turf high tea (see below) and now the irrigation system is in place - thanks to Darling Irrigation, Philmac and Landmark - so now the turf is all booked in for this Thursday. Thanks to Orana Turf for doing us a great deal and Landmark Warren for delivery. Stay tuned for the next stage of the landscaping.



'Tea for Turf' fundraiser at the

Window on the Wetlands Centre
 & Kookaburra Kiosk


We need 500 square metres of turf to start greening our site....what better way to raise these funds than with a High Tea (for Turf)! See details for how to book a seat below. See you there!! If you can't read it below - download it by clicking here.



Australia day award for the Window on the Wetlands Centre  and Kookaburra Kiosk

We're delighted to advise that yesterday we won the Business House of the year from Warren Shire Council!  This is wonderful recognition for all the hard work done by so many people to (a) see the former St Mary's church hall relocated and (b) to then have it re-born as our Centre and Kiosk.


In the coming months there will be many more exciting additions to the Centre including covered verandahs, landscaping and many more education and information panels (see below).



So, do yourself a favour and drop in to the Centre and while there take a relaxing stroll around the adjoining Tiger Bay Wetlands.

'My Macquarie' photocompetition

Winners announced

Photos below - a few words about the competition at right


First place - Open category. 'Reflections' by Emmalee Holmes of Wellington


Second place - Open category.

'Meeting of the old and the young on the Macquarie' by Marlene Cutler of Dubbo


Third place - Open category.

'After a long hard day paddling on the river' by Jenet Stewart of Dubbo


RiverSmart and Macquarie River Trails are delighted to announce the launch of the 'My Macquarie'  photocompetition, with the support of the R.M Williams Outback magazine, Dubbo's Weekender, Orana Mutual and a host of local businesses.  

The competition opens today, 9th November and runs through until the 30th.  The four winning entries (first, second, third plus a junior prize) will be judged by RM Williams Outback magazine and feature in a future edition. A selection of images will also be included in the Dubbo Weekender magazine after judging has taken place. 

Speaking today, CEO of RiverSmart, Dr Bill Phillips said, 'We felt it was time to encourage people to show how much they appreciate the Macquarie. Despite all the recent concerns about littering and dumping by a minority of thoughtless people we know the majority love the river, so this competition is designed to let them showcase the river, it's beauty and the many ways we get to enjoy it.'  

First prize is three nights accommodation at country accommodation near Warren and the Macquarie Marshes - including one night at Haddon Rig Merino Stud’s Jackaroo Lodge, one night at Kiameron’s Riverside Cottage and one night at Billabulla’s beautiful Country Quarters (conditions apply), plus an annual subscription to RM William’s Outback magazine.  Second, third and the junior prize are also fantastic thanks to the generosity of all the local businesses supporting this initiative. 

Those planning to enter should make sure to first check out the Conditions of entry and how to submit your images (here and here).

So get out there people and let's show the World what a wonderful river the
Macquarie is!


Don't miss the Warren Spring Festival this weekend - including our paddle-a-thon
(see at right)


Well the countdown has begun for the Warren Spring Festival this coming weekend which also includes our weir-to-weir, paddle-a-thon on the Saturday morning.


I've attached the full program for the weekend which is chop full of highlights. After the paddle you can enjoy the Show and Shine with markets, country music all day with the likes of Royden Donohue and the Greg Storer band and lots more things going on as well.  Saturday night kick your heals up at the Spring Festival Ball being entertained by the Western Plains Big Band. 


Then on Sunday wake up with a 6km fun run !!, street parade, duck races (don't miss the Calcutta for this at the Warren Golfie at 6.30pm on Friday), egg throwing, lots of things for the kids, heaps of food, plus vintage cars, face painting, camp oven cooking...there something for everyone!  Don't miss it and help raise $'s for the extension of the Community Homes in Warren. 


And, back to the paddle-a-thon.......If you don't have a canoe or kayak, please contact me (Bill on 0438 817 470) as we have a few we can offer.  And don't forget, you'll need a life jacket for each person in order to participate. It starts at 9am at the top weir - access off Wambianna Road.


 NOTE: your last chance to enter will be at the Calcutta for the Duck races at the Golfie on Friday at 6.30pm. 

Hope to see you there.

Download the program here




New artist-in-residence at the Window
 on the Wetlands Centre in Warren

Michael Pospischil

Grand opening 5pm Friday 25th
through to Sunday 4th October

Michael is an award winning Queensland artist whose principal interests are landscape and portraiture. He works mainly in charcoal with an overlay of several oil glazes - see below.

Michael attended the Plein Air Artist Muster in Warren and the Macquarie Marshes last year and the exhibition will feature those, now completed works, plus many new works from the region.  Don't miss it.

Plus, on the 1st and 2nd of October Michael is offering full day classes so you can learn how to master this art form.  $50 per day.  Register with Bill Phillips - call 0438 817 470. The attachment (download here) explains more about the exhibition and what you'll need to bring to the classes.

RiverSmart's Macquarie River program listed as finalist in 2015 Australian River Prize


Great news for all our supporters and volunteers with our Macquarie RiverSmart program listed as one of three finalists for the prestigious 2015 Australian River Prize with the winner to be announced at the gala dinner at the International River Symposium in Brisbane on 22 September. We are of course very proud to be recognised in this way. Media releases from us and the International River Foundation can be downloaded here.


RiverSmart's media release

IRF's media release


RiverSmart seeks worldwide help with crowd funding for Stage 3 of the Window on the Wetlands Centre


RiverSmart today (8th July 2015) launched a 60-day fundraising campaign via crowd funding web site Indiegogo to help move forward with Stage of the WOW Centre in Warren.  Read below for the details and the link for making donations, which, if you're an Australian citizen can also be tax deductible.



As most of you will be aware we have for some time now been busy moving forward with the creation of what we've called the Window on the Wetlands (WOW) Centre in Warren. This is to be an education, recreation and cultural centre, positioned as it is beside Warren's Tiger Bay Wetlands, and just over 100 kms from the iconic Macquarie Marshes. This Centre is also to operate as the HQ of RiverSmart and the ever expanding Macquarie Valley Trails program.


Recently, Stage 2 of the Centre was opened, that being the refurbished church hall. Stage 1 was relocating it to the site last year. Now, we're reaching out, as we did during Stage 1, through the global vehicle of crowdfunding (through Indiegogo) to help fund Stage 3. This will see covered verandas added to the former church hall to create a relaxing place for visitors and locals to take in the peaceful setting and also provide more wall space for interpretive boards. Plus, we're keen to construct seven small covered shelters dotted around the site, connected by a walking trail, that will cover everything from the wildlife, wetlands, rivers, cultural heritage, farming activities and ways to get out, see and enjoy these anywhere from Lake Burrendong to the Barwon along the Macquarie River, and also along the nearby Bogan and Castlereagh Rivers.


Our target is Aud$50,000 although any donations will be gratefully received and help us toward acheiving our goal. The forecast is that once we get Stage 3 completed, we should see 3-5,000 visitors per year coming to the WOW Centre, plus we hope to have over 1,000 school children visiting per year as well. This will help provide yet another reason for people to visit and spend more time in the central west.


The link below will take you to the crowdfunding site where it's all explained. Please help us get Stage 3 of WOW Centre completed by (a) donating a few dollars yourself or through your business, or (b) sharing this link with your friends and colleagues either by forwarding this email or sharing a link via social media. We need to spread the word about this initiative to get donations from across Australia and all around the World.


Link to crowd funding site: 



Thanks for the support everyone.


First artist-in-residence at the WOW Centre - Warren's own Bruce Lynch

RiverSmart and Macquarie River Trails are pleased to announce that the first artist-in-residence at the recently opened WOW Centre in Warren is renowned local artist, Bruce Lynch.


Winner of the open section of the Outback Arts Exhibition in 2014, Bruce's art has been exhibited in many venues including successful

exhibitions in Japan and Singapore. Come along and see an exhibition of Bruce's stunning wildlife artworks (see below). Bruce's works will also be on sale, with a percentage of each sale going toward Stage 3 of the WOW Centre.


Each day, from 10am - 4 pm Bruce will be at the Centre painting, so don't miss this opportunity to see him at work and ask questions. Tea and pod coffee on offer so come along and relax in the peaceful surrounds of the WOW Centre.


Bruce Lynch at work

Window on the Wetlands Centre (Stage 2) opens - now for Stage 3!


At the recent opening of Warren's Window on the Wetlands Centre by the Hon Sarah Mitchell MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for Western NSW, RiverSmart's CEO, Dr Bill Phillips outlined the plans for Stage 3 of the development leading to the Centre being fully operational later in the year.  

“Stage 3 will involve the addition of covered verandas on either side of the former St Mary's church hall to provide more exhibition space plus an area for visitors and locals to relax and enjoy the peaceful surrounds.  We will also start to construct, in the space in front of the building, several covered information shelters which will have information about the river, Tiger Bay and the Macquarie Marshes plus early European history, Indigenous heritage and the farming enterprises the region is famous for.  Plus, promotional billboards on the roads into Warren will start to appear shortly, with six of these already being sponsored by local businesses." 

At the opening, RiverSmart was presented with a cheque for $1,500 by Gus Napier, on behalf of the Warren Rotary Club; the proceeds from their recent golf day fund-raiser.  These funds represent the start of the fund-raising effort for Stage 3 of the WOW Centre, which it is estimated will cost close to $60,000.  

A raffle on the night, plus the proceeds from art sales across the long weekend generated a further $3,000.  "We'd like to thank those local businesses that donated prizes for the raffle including Weigela Design, the Warren Meat House, Warren Joinery and Hardware plus Doug and Fitz McKay. Also, a huge thankyou to all the local artists who exhibited artworks at the opening, and especially Alison Cosgrove for coordinating the exhibition.  Thanks also to Peter Browne for the artwork he donated," said Bill Phillips. 

As was explained at the opening it is hoped that within three years the WOW Centre will be bringing over 5,000 visitors per year to Warren, with the prospect of them all spending up to $200 per day this could see up to $1 million injected into the local economy, which will be a boost for small businesses and jobs in the town. 

In his speech, Dr Phillips, also thanked the many people and organisations who have contributed to getting this development to where it is now. This included Sara and Greg Storer, Craig Williamson and so many others with the benefit concert. Those who assisted the relocation of the church hall, including Doug McKay, the Historical Society, several local donors, St Mary's church and school, Marshall Oriel and other staff from Essential Energy plus Geoff Wallace. Ongoing support and encouragement has also come from the Chamber of Commerce and the Warren Rotary Club. A long list of tradies and others who've worked on the renovations were also acknowledged including Rodney Thornton, John Wood, Fielding Smith, Tim Warman, Ando's Graders, Travis Church, Lloyd Calvert and the Men's Shed, Sarah Williamson and the leadlight team, Mary Kennedy and the Ngemba Wailwan artists group. Finally, special thanks went to Ashley Wielinga and staff at Warren Shire for their constant help and lastly, and most importantly, Damian Plunkett who has been involved since this all began and continues to coordinate the works program and undertake key tasks. A huge team effort!

Wailwan painted poles project gets underway at the WOW Centre. Also, thanks to a grant from the FRRR we are working with the Aboriginal Land Council and the Ngemba Wailwan artists in Warren to have them (and others from the local Aboriginal community) paint a series of poles (see photo below) that will form part of the Indigenous cultural heritage interpretive displays that will welcome people to the Centre. Thanks also to Essential Energy for the poles. Watch this space as the artists start work in the near future.


Copies of the draft Master Plan for the WOW Centre can be downloaded as a pdf here (click link) or you pick up a copy from the Economic Development Officers at Warren Shire Council.  Comments can be directed to Bill Phillips on 0438 817 470, email to ceo@riversmart.org.au or in writing to RiverSmart, PO Box 322, Warren, NSW, 2824


The work begins on Stage 2


After the exciting news just before christmas of our $50,000 grant from the NSW Community Building Partnerships Program, work is now underway - see below. The plumbing is done and the painters are hard at work. Electricity should be connected any day.  Stay tuned for more updates.



 Below - Kevin Humphries, local Member for Barwon gives RiverSmart CEO Bill Phillips the good news about the CBP grant along with the Mayor of Warren Shire Rex Wilson, who also received a cheque for $25,000 toward a new skate park for the town.




Overall winners declared!

The Macquarie River (catch and release) Fishing Classic, Carp muster and river cleanup

6-7 December


The results have been tallied and we're pleased to announce the following winners in the four categories:

Biggest Murray cod (Cod of Origin):  Daniel Stanley 85 cms (Warren)

Biggest Yellowbelly: James Morgan 55 cms (Dubbo)

Biggest Carp: 76 cms Mark Hawke (Dubbo)

Most Carp: bag of 48 Rory Miller-Coen (Warren)


Plus (drum roll please) - winner of the $6,500 tinnie-trailer-outboard package donated by Dubbo Marine and Watersports is:  Kevin Forbes, Age 14 from Warren


Thanks again to all who participated and especially all our sponsors and volunteers!




We did it!

'Window on the Wetlands' Centre, Warren

 now a step closer


Last week all the hard planning came to fruition when the old timber church hall from St Mary's Primary School in Warren made the short trek across the river to its new home beside the Tiger Bay Wetlands (see above right), where it will soon become the RiverSmart Window on the Wetlands Centre.


There are so many people to thank for their support which has seen us get this far. The school, Warren Shire Council, the Historical Society lots of local donors, plus of course Sara and Greg Storer for the benefit concert a few months ago. And so many locals who have chipped in when required to get the little things done...a true community effort. Congratulations Warren.


Macquarie River Trails aims to put the
central west on the World list of great bird watching destinations


The central west of NSW is now a tourism trail blazer for Australia with recent launches across the region of the latest Macquarie River Trail and accompanying glove box guide; this one dedicated to bird watching.



The trail - extending from Lake Burrendong near Wellington to the Barwon River below the Macquarie Marshes - identifies 13 sites and 5 driving routes through which keen birdos and nature lovers have the prospect of seeing up to 300 woodland, riverine or wetland species including several notable, rare or threatened species. Bird watching is the fastest growing pastime in the western world so we hope that by putting the Macquarie river and marshes on the bird watching 'map' it will see more international visitors to the region as well as from across Australia.


RiverSmart, and its partner in this trail development Warren Shire Council, would like to acknowledge the support we've received in undertaking this initiative. Principal funding came from the Australian Bird Environmnent Foundation of BirdLife Australia and help with printing the glove box guide was kindly provided by Dubbo City Council, Narromine Chamber of Commerce and both Coonamble and Walgett Shire Councils. The technical information was provided by Dubbo Field Naturalists and Conservation Society without whom the guide would not have been possible. Thanks to all these people and the many others who provided photos.  



To mark this occasion, and to stress its regional context, starting this coming Monday we will have five launches of the new Trail and its Guide in five Local Government Areas no less! The details are as follows:


Wellington - Monday 3pm at the Visitor Information Centre.

Narromine - Tuesday 2pm at the Rotary Wetland.

Warren - Wednesday 10.30am at the VIC.

Coonamble - Wednesday 2pm at the Coonamble Show.

Dubbo - Thursday 3pm at the VIC.


Hope to see you at one of these to pick up your glove box guide.  Over the coming days the River trails web site (www.rivertrails.com.au) will have this information added and a downloadable pdf version of the glove box guide will be available there as well. At this stage this latest trail has not yet been added to the Mac River trails downloadable app...further funding is need for this to happen (hint, hint!).


For those interested click here to download the bird list.



RiverSmart's Water Cycle event

Done and dusted for 2014



World Water Day was celebrated on Saturday 22 March with participants taking on the Water Cycle challenge around the Tracker Riley Cycle/Walkway, along both sides of the Macquarie River in Dubbo.



The event was a great success although numbers were a bit down due to competition from other Saturday morning events.  Feedback from those who took part was very positive so thanks to all who helped make this a reality, as follows:

NRMA Insurance, the major sponsor

Dubbo City Council - who used the event to also promote awareness of stormwater issues and cycling safety

Central West Local Land Services - our usual partner!

Dubbo Macquarie Bushcare Group

Dubbo Field Naturalists and Conservation Society

Rotary Club of West Dubbo (see below also)

and all the local media outlets for the great help with promoting the event.


West Dubbo Rotary Club supports


The Rotary Club of West Dubbo took the opportunity of the Water Cycle event (see above) to present RiverSmart with a sponsorship cheque for $500. Above, Club President Jim McCreadie presents the cheque to Bill Phillips, CEO of RiverSmart.  Thanks for the support guys!


Macquarie river anglers enlisted to
search for the elusive Macquarie Perch


Those who participate in the up-coming Orana Mutual Macquarie River Fishing Classic (see at right) will also be asked to be on the look out for the Macquarie Perch, last recorded on that river around the end of World War II. But rumours continue to circulate that there may be a few left so a reward has been offered for anyone catching-photographing-releasing and reporting one over that weekend. The reward's a secret but RiverSmart has undertaken this search with the sponsorship of Orana Mutual, which is a hint!



Floating classroom, river cruises and kayak hire all now available in Dubbo



Last week we were delighted to be able to launch our own healthy rivers floating classroom on the Macquarie River in Dubbo, with sponsorship from Orana Mutual and the support of Langley's Coaches. Eighteen students from Macquarie Anglican Grammar (see below) were our first class and they had a great time seeing the river up close and being guided through a lesson-on-the-water by Karen Hagan. Bookings for next year should be directed to Bill Phillips in the first instance - see our contacts page.


Deputy Mayor of Dubbo, Ben Shields cuts the ribbon to launch the floating classroom. Ben Luck (centre), regional manager of Orana Mutual and Bill Phillips (CEO, RiverSmart) watch on.


As well as the floating classroom, Macquarie River Trails helped promote two new 'River Trail' attractions - the Langley's River Cruiser is now back operating again after a break of a few years (see above) and Adventure Watersports have expanded their operations to now include 'take away' kayak hire from their Dubbo base. You can contact both through www.rivertrails.com.au - via the River Trail option.


A happy crew enjoy a snack on the now re-launched Langley's River cruiser.



Yabby traps! ACT retail outlets happy to help

Now for NSW!

Following the launch of our yabby trap campaign recently we've had a great response from people wanting to sign our petition - see below - and it's not too last to do that!

Plus, we got out and went to see the ten retailers across the ACT and Queanbeyan, all of whom were more than happy to support our education campaign.  All of these now have advisory posters on display and, for use at the point of sale, we've now provided them with an information postcard to give to any prospective buyers. This explains the rules relating to the use of enclosed yabby or similar traps. Well done Canberra--we're now leading the country in making people aware of the risks these traps pose to air-breathing wildlife, like our much loved platypus.

Below Macca the RiverSmart mascot platypus is delighted with the news.

Previous info: Last Saturday's Canberra Times carried yet another sad story and disturbing photo of a drowned platypus in a yabby trap. Yet again this raises the question as to why such traps, and especially the super cheap 'Opera-house' style version, continue to be sold if their use is banned in the waterways of the ACT and also those of surrounding NSW.

At left - platypus drowned in Opera house trap, and At right - turtles drowned also. Thanks to the Stawell Times for photos.

At the very least the retailers (both in-store and on-line) should be required to provide information at the point of sale that these cannot be used in the ACT and surrounding waterways and also about the dangers they pose for air-breathing wildlife such as platypus, water rats, turtles and even diving birds sometimes get caught in them.

To try to move this long-standing issue forward we've created an on-line petition which we hope you will sign. It will then be delivered to the relevant ACT and NSW Ministers.

Click here for the link

Thanks for your support.


The Water Cycle project


RiverSmart was recently advised that we had been successful in gaining another grant from NRMA Insurance (for $5,000) for a project we called The Water Cycle. 


In summary the idea is to offer schools, families, anyone who's interested really, the chance to jump on a bike and peddle the 13km Tracker Riley Cycleway in Dubbo (on a date to be set). 


Along the way, our ten portable Outdoor classroom boards will be positioned to test your knowledge of how the Water Cycle works...you know rain, runoff, rivers, evaporation, clouds, more rain etc...and how we all impact on the cycle...our 'river footprint'. 


Now, this is where you get to help....our project has been chosen from 121 projects Australia-wide as one of four projects to potentially have it's budget doubled via a People's Choice vote.... here is the link for voting so please help us secure another $5,000 by voting for The Water Cycle project.   


Hope you can find a few minutes to help get our project over the line and then dust off your bike and helmet and be ready to peddle!




Macquarie RiverWatch is launched



On 26th June the Macquarie RiverWatch initiative is being launched as a joint initiative of RiverSmart and the Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association.

This is basically the well known Neighbourhood Watch concept applied to the Macquarie River. The first themes it will focus on are illegal fishing (see at right) and dumping...but later will extend to seeking advice on issues like storm water pollution, anti-social behaviour at the river, aquatic weeds and even wildlife sightings like platypus, water rats and the presumed extinct Macquarie perch.


Follow this link to the Macquarie RiverWatch web site.




RiverSmart receives two cheques courtesy of the recent
Plein-Air event on the banks of the Macquarie River


The recent Riversmart-ists Plein-Air event held in Dubbo continues to receive accolades and also saw two initiatives to raise funds for the not-for-profit organisation, RiverSmart Australia. 


At left: Brett Garling presents a cheque to Bill Phillips of RiverSmart.  At right: Dubbo Mayor Mathew Dickerson with the two successful eBay bidders for the art works produced by the mayor and local member Troy Grant.

The initiators of the event, the 18-strong Australian Plein-Air Artists Group (APAG), generated close to 130 works of art during their stay in Dubbo and 82 of these were then exhibited at the Garling Gallery in Wongarbon for a week.  Proceeds from the staging of the event were earmarked to go to RiverSmart to help support their work along the Macquarie River.   

Brett Garling, in presenting Dr Bill Phillips, CEO of RiverSmart, with a cheque for almost $1,200, said, 'Our group were overwhelmed by the level of interest in this event from the community.  Our members, some of whom travelled long distances to be here all commented on how friendly the local people were and what a fantastic location it was to paint.  The artists are all keen to come back and do this again next year.' 

As part of the event Dubbo's Mayor Mathew Dickerson and local state Member Troy Grant, both tried their hand at landscape painting, with some tuition from Brett Garling and others.  Afterwards they auctioned their paintings on eBay and raised a combined total of $328.50 for RiverSmart. 

Presenting the combined cheque to RiverSmart Mayor Dickerson said, 'Troy and I were both pleased to support this event by being involved and to then donate the proceeds to the great work of RiverSmart.' 

Dr Bill Phillips, concluded with, 'Our organisation is delighted to receive this support, both in terms of the event, the interest and enthusiasm from APAG, Mathew Dickerson and Troy Grant, and the funds it generated.  It all looks promising for this becoming an annual event on the calendar of this region.'

Photos: Top left - Troy Grant and Mathew Dickerson 'have a go'. Top right - the real artists at work!.  Bottom left - renowned artists Warwick Fuller paints on the pontoon.  Bottom right - it was standing room only at the Garling Gallery on Friday night.

Proceeds of the event will go to RiverSmart Australia
to help our work along the Macquarie River. A special thanks from us to Brett Garling and all the member of the Australian Plein-Air Group.  Hopefully this event is now here to stay.


Macquarie River Trails

launches downloadable app

(visit www.rivertrails.com.au for the link)


Press release 27 March 2013


Macquarie River Trails, the initiative designed to bring more visitors to the central west by highlighting the many attractions of the region, today launched its downloadable app and unveiled one of 13 new information signs spread across the region.


In launching the app and unveiling the sign near Dubbo's pontoon on the river, Mayor of Dubbo, Mathew Dickerson, said, 'Dubbo City Council has been behind this initiative from day one I'm pleased to say.  This signage helps visitors, as well as locals, learn about the myriad of things there are to do in this region.  The downloadable app recognises that in this electronic age we have to be able to provide this type of information to mobile and hand-held devices.  The modern day traveller relies more on more on gaining information in this way.  I congratulate Macquarie River Trails for these wonderful initiatives.'


Dr Bill Phillips, CEO of RiverSmart Australia, the leaders of this initiative, said, 'These exciting next steps in promoting Macquarie River Trails and making the travel planner information more readily accessible was made possible with support from the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW for which we are extremely grateful.'


Continuing Dr Phillips said, 'The downloadable app is available through the App store and is suitable for iPhone/iPad and Android devices.  Visit the App Store and simply search for Macquarie River Trails. The app is available free of charge.  When we officially launch the new Art Trail during our Plein-air Outdoor event along Tracker Riley on April 24-26th, the app will be updated to include this new information.' 


Unveiling of the sign and launch of the app will take place near the pontoon and boat ramp on the Macquarie River on Wednesday 27th March at 3.30pm.


Details of the Plein-air event are above.


Macquarie River Trails - have you seen our signs yet?


Thanks to the financial support of Destination NSW and the Inland Regional Tourism Organisation, twelve information signs explaining what Macquarie River Trails is all about were recently installed in key locations from Lake Burrendong to Willie Retreat in the Macquarie Marshes (see below), and also in Nyngan and Coonamble. Thanks to all who helped this effort....


At left, Macquarie River Trails sign at the entry gate to Lake Burrendong State Park, and, at right, at Willie Retreat, Macquarie Marshes.



Four years on - what have we been up to?


Riversmart is four years old so we thought it was time to summarise our highlights for you all....download the report here (click) which is 15 pages but with lots of photos so not too daunting to read!

Apologies for the quality of the pdf file....we made it low res to keep the file size down.


And, of course, have a happy christmas and a great new year..relax and recover, preferably by a river somewhere!!


Launch of 'Tips for how to be a

Riversmart Farmer'


After events in both Canberra (see below right) and Trangie in the Central West, Riversmart's latest guide is now officially out and about.  Thanks to a community grant from the Caring for our Country Program, this guide is a digest of the latest information from a range of sources covering everything from protecting river banks, controlling weeds, being fish friendly, reducing pollution via run-off, and lots, lots more. 


Email us for a CD copy or click on the cover below to download the document (it's 5.5 megs!). Thanks to those who helped at the two launches, especially, Tim Gavel in Canberra, Billy McAnally, the Mayor of Narromine Shire and the Macquarie 2100 group.  We see this as a work in progress and invite your feedback so we can improve this guide over time.







Apologies folks but due to lack of ticket sales we have been forced to cancel these events - sorry for any convenience. For those who wished to attend, please check with your ticket seller for refunds. You win some - you lose some!


Comedy 'boxing' comes to the Central West

27-28th May 2016


The latest sensation in big city entertainment, comedy 'boxing' is about to hit the central west and all in support of RiverSmart's Macquarie River program.



 Speaking today, Bill Phillips, CEO of RiverSmart said, 'We're over the moon that the Laugh mob from Sydney have offered to come to the region and stage three fund-raising events for us on 27-28th May.'


The Laugh mob, comprising comedians Sam Kissajukian, Kyle Legacy and Ruven Govender, describe comedy boxing as "five loose rounds of insults, low blows, stand up and mayhem."


The group will do one show at the Dubbo RSL theatrette on Friday night (27th) and then go to Warren to the Sport and Cultural Centre for a kids matinee followed by an evening session as well on the Saturday (28th).


"This all came about because the Laugh Mob were appearing on James Valentines' Afternoons show on the ABC last year and they invited charity and not-for-profit organisations to call in to book their services for a charity fundraiser. I was the first caller through and the rest is history,' continued Dr Phillips.


For the Dubbo show tickets for the show can be purchased on-line through www.dubborsl.com.au or at club reception.  They are $25 for Club members or $30 for non-members.


For the Warren shows tickets can be bought on-line through Sticky Tickets (www.stickytickets.com.au - search for Comedy boxing) or over the counter at the Kookaburra Kiosk at the Window on the Wetlands Centre.


Both evening sessions are for adults (15 and over) while Saturday's matinee will be a 'G rated' show for the kids. Tickets for the matinee are $5 each or $15 per family. Tickets for the evening session in Warren are $25 for RiverSmart members or $30 for non-members.


Please note - for the Warren evening event, there is no BYO food or drink. These will be on sale at the venue.


New art exhibition opens at the WOW Centre

We're delighted to announce the opening of our latest art exhibition at the WOW Centre in Warren, our first

photographic exhibition.


All works are by Warren born and bred Megan Prout and feature locals and local scenes.  Hope you have time to pop in and have a great coffee while there.  We're open 8-4pm Monday to Saturday.


Congratulations Megan for a stunning exhibition - as shown in the samples below!


orld Wetlands Day celebrations
 at the WOW Centre

Around the globe on Tuesday 2nd February people will be celebrating World Wetlands Day. This year the theme is Sustainable Livelihoods.  For more details go to www.ramsar.org 


Along the Macquarie River we will host an event at Warren's WOW Centre during which we will officially welcome the new lead light windows (of wetland and river characters) as made by local ladies under the guidance of Sarah Williamson.  This amazing project resulted in 10 new lead light windows being designed and installed in the former St Mary's church hall, now the Kookaburra kiosk part of the WOW Centre. If you haven't seen them, I've attached a photo of one to encourage you to drop in. Even if you have seen them in all their glory, please drop in to help us publicly thank those involved and marvel at their skill. It starts at 5pm on Tuesday 2nd of February, so save the time and date. 



Also, this event will mark the transition from one art exhibition to another at the Centre, with us saying good bye (for now) to the amazing artworks of the Ngemba Wailwan group to be replaced by those of Dubbo-based Bill O'Shea (www.billoshea.com.au). This exhibition will be with us until near the end of February and at a date to be advised Bill will be at the Centre to give you a chance to meet him and discuss his remarkable works.

Congratulations to all involved

The inaugural 'My Macquarie' competition was supported by
the RM Williams OUTBACK magazine who judged the winning entries, Dubbo's Weekender magazine and Orana Mutual with prizes provided by a host of Macquarie River Trails supporters across the region, as listed below. We had 63 entries so a huge thank you to all who took part.

First prize was a three night accommodation package at Haddon Rig's Jackaroo Lodge, a night at Kiameron's Riverside Cottage and a night at Billabulla's Country Quarters as well as publication in and a subscription to OUTBACK magazine. All three properties, are not far from Warren and were listed in the latest MRT guide and on the website, www.rivertrails.com.au

Second prize was a one night stay at Lake Burrendong Sport and Recreation Centre in a family cabin and a night at Wellington's charming and historic Hermitage Hill Resort plus a family pass to the Wellington Caves and publication of the photo in, and a subscription to, OUTBACK magazine.

Third prize is a night's accommodation at The Quality Inn International, Dubbo, a family pass to Taronga Western Plains Zoo and publication of the image in OUTBACK and Dubbo Weekender magazine.

Our junior winner (see below) receives a family pass to Taronga Western Plains Zoo, a single Hunter River swag from The Battler's Mate store in Narromine and publication of her entry in OUTBACK magazine and Dubbo Weekender.

A huge thanks to all of the businesses listed above for their support.


Winner of the junior category - Shani Archer, Age 12 from Dubbo.
Photo entitled 'River reeds'


RiverSmart's fund-raiser paddle-a-thon

Saturday 17th October - register now.

(Part of Warren's Spring Festival)



Paddle from weir to weir along the Macquarie River in Warren. Starts at 9.00am. Finish approx mid-day. $30 per person. Proceeds go to further develop the Window on the Wetlands Centre in Warren.

Download the flyer here.

Download the entry form here. Make sure you read the rules!

Enter on-line here via Sticky Tickets (search Macquarie River).


Winners of Tiger Bay Wetlands photo-competition announced


Across the recent long weekend, when the WOW Centre was opened in Warren, we also ran a photo-competition.  The winning entry (see below) will be used on our soon to be installed monster billboard out the front of the Centre.



The winning photographer was Mia Huddleston seen below receiving her prize, a Go-pro clone and other goodies.

Second was Belinda Bell and equal third, Carol Peachey and Pippy Simmons. Thanks to all. Great photos!


Green Army to support RiverSmart's work in the Central West

The big news this week is the confirmation that our work along the Macquarie will gain a huge boost shortly courtesy of two Green Army team under the new Federal Government program. These teams, of up to 9 people aged 17-24, will gain tangible work experience to help their future employment prospects.

One team will start later this month (so register now if you're interested - see below) and the other in about 6 months time. They will work on Public lands along the Macquarie between Narromine and Warren under our NatureLinks program. Hopefully in future years we can move upstream also. The team will do everything from weed control and tubestock planting to work on walking trails and signage at Tiger Bay Wetland in Warren.

The project is a collaborative one involving us working with Conservation Volunteers (who will manage the teams), Warren and Narromine Shire Councils and Central West Local Land Services.

A big thank you to local Federal Member Mark Coulton for encouraging us to put out hand up to be involved in this program. If you're interested in being involved or know someone you think may be you can register through the Conservation Volunteers web site (www.conservationvolunteers.com.au).

Click here to download the press release issued on 4 November.


Macquarie River Artist Muster

29 September - 6 October 2014


They came, they saw and they painted!


Last week saw the second Macquarie River Plein-Air event held, this year in Warren and the Macquarie marshes, with 33 registered participants, more than double the number from last year.


At left - Ted Lewis paints at Warren's Tiger Bay Wetlands and a short distance away (at right) the first class was getting started.


After 3 days in Warren the group migrated downstream to paint in the Macquarie Marshes in conjunction with the annual National Parks and Wildlife Services' Open days.


At left - the second class begins at the Quinines Reserve and at right, Ray Hill concentrates on catching the fading afternoon light on the river.



The Macquarie River Artist Muster in 2104 was an initiative of RiverSmart Australia, Outback Arts, Brett Garling and the Australian Plein Air Artists Group plus the Warren Arts Council, the Ngemba Wailwan Art Group, Warren, Coonamble, Walgett and Bogan Shire Councils, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and Central West Local Land Services.



RiverSmart benefit concert starring Sara and Greg Storer declared a huge success!


Media release 14th April: 

Sara Storer with her brother Greg wowed the big crowd at RiverSmarts’ benefit concert on Friday night in Warren.  The so-called ‘Night by the Billabong’ event attracted nearly 400 people from across the region and none went home disappointed as Sara showed why she’s considered Australia’s premier female country music artist, and winner of 18 Golden guitars.


‘What a night!’ declared Bill Phillips, CEO of RiverSmart. ‘We are absolutely over the moon with the response and support from Warren and the whole region.  And what a star is Sara – the consummate entertainer with a voice that had everyone captivated.’


The night was a fund-raiser for the not-for-profit organisation to help them relocate an old timber church building from the St Mary’s Primary school to the nearby Tiger Bay wetlands in Warren, to create the ‘Window on the Wetlands’ Centre.  This Centre will provide an education and training venue, and also help further develop the rapidly growing Macquarie River Trails initiative, also an initiative of RiverSmart.


‘We had hoped to generate $10,000 from the night but we’ve certainly surpassed that, it’s probably closer to $15,000.  And so now, with this and the other funds generated by local efforts and donations from across the region, we have the funds to move the building and starting creating this new community asset and space,’ said Bill Phillips. ‘We can set the date.’  


Leading up to this night RiverSmart received donations toward the initiative from Macquarie 2100, Narromine Chamber of Commerce, Three Rivers Machinery, Insurance Advisernet and West Dubbo Rotary Club plus an additional $1,800 via their crowd funding initiative.


Friday night in Warren also included a charity auction, which generated much interest and keen bidding for the range of donated items, including a week at a waterfront property at Port Stephens. ‘The auction and raffle between them brought in nearly $5,000,’ continued Bill Phillips, ‘so a big thank you to all the businesses and individuals that donated items. We still had things being donated up until an hour before the event.’ (See below).


The night also saw the launch of the new RiverSmart song, named the Kingfisher song, written by Greg Storer especially for the event.  The chorus line ‘If I look after the river, the river will look after me’ is set to become RiverSmarts’ new slogan and the song its’ anthem. ‘Greg Storer is such a talented singer, songwriter and musician and he’s given us such a special gift with the Kingfisher song,’ said Bill Phillips.


‘We owe a very big thanks to Sara, Greg and all the musicians who donated their time and talents. Plus the following helped make the night one to remember: Damian and Belinda Plunkett and the SPAR supermarket, the Cobb Street Tavern Fishing Club, the IGA, the Marthaguy Cricket Club, Warren Lions Club, the Wild Women of Warren, Warren Shire Council, all the media outlets especially 2DU, ABC radio and the Warren Weekly, our auctioneer and MC Trevor Wilson, Insurance Advisernet and those businesses who helped with ticket selling outside Warren - Langley’s coaches, Orana Mutual, the Bridge Motel and Glass Garden Nursery.



Charity auction items donated  by the following:

Chesterfield’s in Warren, Tradies-for-a day (Tom Saunders and Damian Plunkett), Lake Burrendong State Park, Red Dirt Camping, Dubbo Marine, John Eales (via John McKay), John and Toni McKay, artist Bill O’Shea and Tennis Australia.


Raffle prizes were donated by the following:

Weigela Design, Uncle Clarries, Fitz and Doug McKay, Ewe Two on Dandaloo, Lime Grove, Narromine, Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Warren Meathouse, author Robert Maddison and Tennis Australia.


Crowd funding - "Window on the Macquarie Marshes Centre" - can you help?


Tiger Bay wetland, Warren


Riversmart Australia (also operating as Macquarie River Trails) used World Wetlands Day, 2 February, to launch its first crowd funding initiative 'Window on the Macquarie marshes' for the creation of a multi-purpose centre in Warren. 

Late last year Warren Shire Council offered RiverSmart use of the school house building beside Warren's Tiger Bay wetland, which will provide an operational HQ and place for RiverSmart to start offering schools and adult education programs in 2014RiverSmart will share this building with the girl guides.  Stage 2 is to relocate the old church hall (see below) from the nearby Catholic Primary school, also to sit beside the Tiger Bay wetland, to be re-born into a place to showcase the wonders of wetlands, while also promoting Macquarie River Trails and helping 'incubate' new business enterprises under that initiative.


At left - church hall in Warren we want to relocate and need $5,000 more.

At right - the Macquarie marshes in all their glory!

RiverSmart's CEO, Dr Bill Phillips today, "To date, nearly $35,000 has been pledged or raised from local sources or our own efforts, leaving us just $5,000 short of what we need. It is so frustrating to be this agonisingly close to making this exciting concept become a reality and to create a new community space that can also be used for markets, outdoor movies and concerts." 

RiverSmart's fund-raising campaign, launched yesterday on the crowd funding platform Indiegogo, can be found via www.indiegogo.com, then search (top right) 'Macquarie marshes' to find the campaign and read all about it.  Donations can be made on-line.

"Two years ago we launched Macquarie River Trails designed to stimulate increased visitation to this region, and so far we've launched seven trails, soon to be eight with bird watching coming soon. The remarkable Macquarie Marshes have the potential to be one of the biggest drawcards to the region, yet at present there simply isn't enough infrastructure to attract or support such visitation. When wet, the Macquarie Marshes rival Kakadu's wetlands and it's time we found a way to put them up on a similar pedestal," said Dr Phillips.


Have you seen a platypus?

Two years ago we launched Platypus watch on the Macquarie river with the unveiling of platypus country signs in Wellington (see below). Now we have some amazing footage of a young platypus, as recorded by local naturalist Paul Kirk, to share with you - click here to see this amazing YouTube clip.


Plus, we've heard of some recent platypus sightings near Narromine, which if confirmed would be very exciting as the experts claim they disappeared from that part of the Macquarie many, many years ago. So, if you have confirmed sightings of platypus near Narromine we'd love to hear from you. Go to 'Contact Us' above for details.




7-8 December 2013



Nearly 500 people registered in the event this year and from all reports had a great weekend enjoying the river, the brilliant weather and good fishing.


Overall winners in each category were as follows:


Murray cod - The Cod of Origin cup went to

 Carl Williamson from Dubbo with a one metre monster.

 Biggest Yellowbelly - Paul West from Wellington - 55.5 centimetres

Biggest carp - Tim Slack-Smith from Wellington - 75 centimetres

Most carp - the carp buster award - Trent Naylor from Bathurst, fishing near Warren bag of 96 carp!


And, the winner of the draw for the tinnie, trailer, outboard package donated by Dubbo Marine was Nathan O'Neill from Dubbo. Photos to come when we present it to him tomorrow.


Thanks again to all who took part.


This event was an initiative of Macquarie River Trails and RiverSmart Australia. 




We did it!

Launched the outdoor and floating classrooms on Lake Burley Griffin

Friday 12th October saw 70 supporters join us for a two hour cruise on the MV Southern Cross when two education initiatives where launched. 

 MC was the ABC's voice of sport, Tim Gavel (one of our Riversmart Ambassadors), and he was helped by Tim the Yowie Man (another Riversmart Ambassador).  Gary Rake (Chief Executive, NCA) was there to lend his support too. The photos below show highlights.

At left: participants enjoy the lake setting.  At right: Gary Cairns, Tackleworld Canberra, presents a cheque for $5,000 to Bill Phillips, CEO of Riversmart to help launch the Healthy Rivers Outdoor Classroom.

At left: Stephanie Majeed from NRMA Insurance presents a cheque for $6,600 to Riversmart for establishment of the Floating Lab Class. At right: MC Tim Gavel watches on as Matt Owen from Canberra Yacht Club says a few words about the award-winning project to remove weeds and replant Spinnaker Island.

At left: Tim the Yowie Man entertains the crowd with stories of the 'Burley Beast'. At right: Gary Rake, CEO, NCA lends his support to the Lakecare initiative.


Our national capital is blessed with wonderful lakes, with Lakes Burley Griffin, Tuggeranong and Ginninderra being the largest. Sadly, they are all suffering from the side effects of the rapidly expanding urban environment that surrounds them and the run-off that increasingly pollutes them. Added to that are introduced pests like Carp and Red fin, and a smorgasbord of invasive weeds.  The litter-laden run-off after rain fall is awful to observe, as are the shopping trolleys, and not to mention the unseen chemicals and fertilisers in the water.  Is it any wonder we now see these lakes regularly becoming a soup of blue-green algae with human recreational activities restricted?  This is a not problem you are powerless to do anything about!  It's easy to whinge, but takes more resolve to say 'I'm going to help fix this'. 


Riversmart is launching this initiative to give the many people we hear complaining about the state of our lakes a way to do something about it.  Starting soon we will advertise regular opportunities for you and your family or workmates to roll your sleeves up and help make a difference.  Two such opportunities - to help with weed control on Spinnaker Island and Springbank Island in Lake Burley Griffin - are coming up soon. Download our February newsletter (click) here for details of these and some other suggestions too.  Of course, another way is to download the do-it-yourself Riversmart home, work and school audits (see above) which will help you identify ways you can reduce your lake 'footprint'.


We made a start! On Sunday 26th February 30+ keen volunteers  from Canberra Yacht Club, Riversmart and Conservation Volunteers (and Macca the platypus) got stuck into weed control on Springbank Island.  A few even decided to do a litter cleanup - see below.  Stay tuned for the next expedition in late March....





Lift off complete!

We did it - yes four launches in five days.  Special thanks to the following for officiating at our launches and taking to the water to paddle a stage of WomDomNom's event (see at left) - Anne Jones (Mayor of Wellington),  Mathew Dickerson (Mayor of Dubbo), Billy McAnally (Mayor of Narromine), plus Troy Grant (NSW Member for Dubbo) and Rex Wilson (Mayor of Warren).


And web site is now live - check out www.rivertrails.com.au 



Corporate social responsibility

We especially want corporate Australia to get behind this new approach, just as much as government.   This is the chance for corporate Australia to demonstrate social responsibility and help fund the work of RiverSmart. For opportunities to do this follow this link.