The internationally renowned Coorong will get a much-needed boost with key works to soon begin to help improve long-term environmental outcomes in the region.
The Australian and South Australian governments have announced the next $22.2 million of funding to help get the Coorong back on track for a healthy future.
The funding will deliver key works including detailed feasibility assessments and scientific investigations which will lead to longer-term management solutions and more effective delivery of water.
A Coorong Partnership has also been formed which will transform the way the State Government works with the community to manage the Coorong.
The investment of $22.2 million, which includes $20 million from the Australian Government, is part of the Commonwealth’s contribution of up to $70 million towards the next stage of South Australia’s Project Coorong which supports the long-term health of the Coorong.
Project Coorong will contribute to managing the Coorong for ecological health, and support the Coorong, Lakes Alexandrina and Albert Wetland Ramsar site to be a healthy, productive and resilient wetland system.
The key ecological features of the Coorong that made it a unique and valuable place were still present after the Millennium Drought but the system is in a vulnerable state.
This new phase of funding will support scientific trials and detailed feasibility assessments to improve long-term environmental outcomes for the region.
In addition the Coorong Partnership, a community governance model chaired by Dean Brown AO, will provide local communities and groups with an opportunity to help shape the work to be undertaken.
The partnership includes members with expertise in conservation, recreation, science, tourism, fishing, agriculture and heritage, as well as First Nations and local government representatives.
The $22.2 million of funding will deliver:
- $10 million for scientific trials and investigations with the Goyder Institute for Water Research.
- Feasibility assessments and fast-tracked implementation of on-ground works to improve the availability and quality of habitat for vulnerable species while longer-term rehabilitation options are progressed.
- Extensive community consultations and technical feasibility investigations to assess the environmental, social, cultural and economic benefits and impacts of long-term management solutions.
- An expansion to the existing Coorong water quality monitoring network, coupled with an extensive water quality monitoring program and development of an automated forecasting system and online data interface, to improve water operations and environmental water decisions.
- Extensive community and First Nations partnerships and consultations, including a new citizen science program.