Environment SA News

Options to improve the ecology of the Lock 3 Reach shortlisted for further investigation

Several sites across the Riverland have been shortlisted for further investigation as part of a project to support and promote environmental outcomes across the Lock 3 Reach.

Options to improve the ecology of the Lock 3 Reach shortlisted for further investigation
Overland Corner.

As an initiative of the Sustaining Riverland Environments (SRE) Program, the options were shortlisted from the Lock 3 Master Plan, which was released for community consultation in November last year.

The SRE Program aims to implement options that will help achieve a healthier River Murray system, stronger communities and better recreation and profitable industries, while also stimulating jobs and economic growth in the Riverland.

Sites include a mix of wetlands and creeks, including Loveday Mussel Lagoon, Beldora and Spectacle Lakes and Katarapko Creek.

Investigations will also extend to exploring capacity and outcomes associated with weir pool management within the Lock 3 Reach and the potential benefits for Wachtels Lagoon, Loch Luna and Lake Bonney.

SRE Program Leader with the Department for Environment and Water, Nathan Clisby, said shortlisted options include undertaking environmental investigations and exploring potential operational and infrastructure investments to improve the condition of wetlands and waterways within the Lock 3 Reach.

“The Lock 3 Reach contains some of the most diverse flow conditions of all the weir pools in the South Australian River Murray and contains a number of sites of significant ecological, social and cultural importance.” Nathan said.

Options that we identified within the Lock 3 Master Plan went through a rigorous evaluation process to understand their eligibility to progress for further investigations and potential investment under the SRE Program.

“We’ve now been able to shortlist those down to those key sites within the Lock 3 Reach that present the best opportunity to improve environmental, economic, cultural and social outcomes in the region.”

Nathan said the SRE team are conducting various ecological and topographical surveys to support stakeholder consultation and the refinement of each option.

“As we’ve shown over past two years with the Master Plans Project, we’ll work with local communities including landowners, irrigators and First Nations to collect and collate local knowledge and information about the sites.” Nathan said.

“The local insights will play an instrumental role throughout the life of the SRE Program within the Lock 3 Reach, by improving ecological and cultural knowledge and co-designing management and potential infrastructure solutions”.

This project is contributing to enhanced environmental outcomes on a local scale which will complement environmental watering activities which have been made possible under the Basin Plan.

The Sustaining Riverland Environments Program is a $37.6 million program funded by the Australian Government through the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and delivered by the Government of South Australia through the Department for Environment and Water.

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