Why are there no true freshwater protected areas in Australia?

Freshwater ecosystems such as rivers, lakes and wetlands are precious. They contain several-times more vertebrate species per unit area than land and ocean environments, and they are more degraded.

Protected areas such as Alpine National Park and the Great Barrier Marine Park are a crucial tool for conserving wildlife on land and in the sea. But there is no similar protection for freshwater ecosystems in the world’s driest continent, Australia. Why not?