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Governments to spend $60m on the Coorong

Danielle Grindlay, Monday June 30, 2014 - 11:12 EST
Audience submitted image
A joint $60m Commonwealth and State Government project will see an extra 26 gigalitres of freshwater re-directed into the Coorong South Lagoon. - Audience submitted

A $60 million project will see an extra 26 gigalitres of water, re-directed into the Coorong, in South Australia, every year.

The ‘South East Flows Restoration Project’ aims to reduce salinity levels and therefore improve conditions for native wildlife and wetlands in the region.

The Commonwealth Government has pledged $54 million to the project and the South Australian Government will contribute $6 million.

Over time, the project will see freshwater re-directed from the south east drainage system, into the Coorong South Lagoon.

Other on-ground actions will include; restoration of lakeshore and estuarine habitats, the reintroduction of fish species and construction of fish passages.

State water minister, Ian Hunter says the drought in the Murray-Darling Basin caused significant ecological degradation to the Coorong.

“Anybody that knows the local area, or was down there at the time, could testify to the dieback, the smell, the evaporation and the huge impact on local communities,� Mr Hunter says.

“Just by re-routing water back into the Coorong, we’ll be able to actually improve the whole Coorong system ... we’ll be able to keep a very good control over salinity levels.�

Further landholder consultation and Aboriginal engagement programs have been budgeted for.

Mr Hunter says there is still much work to be done before construction begins.

“There will still need to be some consultation with community and engineering sign-offs so we won’t be putting the spade in straight away.

“But the money will be guaranteed.�


- ABC

© ABC 2014

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