Senate Select Committee on the Murray-Darling Basin Plan

Member for Hammond, Adrian Pederick has some concerns about the report presented by the Select Committee in relation to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

“In reference to the 31 recommendations in the Select Committee report I believe the evaluation on the use of the desalination plant and the investigation of a potential connector between Lake Albert and the Coorong as practical recommendations. However, I consider recommendation 14 outrageous,” said Mr Pederick.

Recommendation 14 proposes that an analysis be undertaken for options such as;

  1. Removing all the barrages.
  2. The removal of some barrages.
  3. The modification of some barrages (such as Tauwitcherie and Mundoo).
  4. Permitting the ingress of salt water into the Lower Lakes during periods of low flow; and
  5. Investigating the construction of an additional lock with the location possibility being at Wellington, SA.

“The potential and viability of a lock at Wellington has previously been investigated, once in the 1900’s and again through the millennium drought, and on both occasions it was declared not viable and if constructed, it would decimate the future of the lower Murray and lakes.

“An idea to pull out the barrages to return the river back to nature is as ridiculous as pulling out all 3,500 structures and filling in all man-made channels.

“The river has been engineered to protect the fresh water status of the lower lakes since the 1900’s and that’s how it needs to stay.

“The focus needs to be on utilising the structures already in place through upgrading the Goolwa Barrages to fully automated systems as a way of increasing efficiency and investigating the possibility of a Lake Albert to Coorong connector.

“The previously legislated Murray-Darling Basin Plan should be the focus, in order to ensure a viable and prosperous future for the Murray-Darling Basin and all its users,” said Mr Pederick.