Concern over call for Weir

Member for Hammond Mr Adrian Pederick is concerned over the latest call to reignite the debate to build a weir at Wellington.

“This proposal would have enormous social, economic and environmental effects on the community of Hammond. It would basically write off about half of my electorate,’ said Mr Pederick. ‘Even in the depths of the millennium drought this option was not proceeded with.

“A Weir near Wellington has been looked at several times. The feasibility studies showed us it was not a good alternative, not only for the environment but also due to the original and ongoing cost.

‘We must remember that the Lower Lakes and Coorong are part of the internationally recognised RAMSAR sites. This would have huge consequences for South Australia.

“The Murray Darling Basin Plan is a coordinated approach across four states that set standards in managing water resources from a national interest. Through this plan we have purchased water and there are engineering solutions in place, nevertheless these environmental issues take time.

“During the drought some very detailed modelling was done on what the effect might be if a weir was at Wellington and it showed that we would end up with a hypersaline pool, said Mr Pederick.

“I also disagree with the statement about the waste of 4500 gigalitres of water. The detailed modelling showed a figure of around 800 gigalitres of water is lost in the Lower Lakes due to evaporation. Irrespective of this we need an adequate flow down the river to flush the annual two million tonnes of salt out of the river system.

“We need working solutions to maintain a natural system, not just revamping ideas that have been researched and rejected.”