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Flood protection works undertaken by property owners

How can I protect my infrastructure and assets from floods on Crown land?

DEW supports temporary mitigation measures on Crown land to assist in protecting infrastructure and assets on Crown land or private property adjoining.

You can use temporary measures to protect your infrastructure including sandbags, water bladders or plastic sheeting.

Infrastructure on Crown land could include pumps and pipelines, shacks, pontoons, retaining walls, boat ramps and houseboat moorings.

Temporary mitigation measures include:

  1. Using sandbags on Crown land for protection works
  2. The temporary removal of infrastructure to protect it from the rising flood waters

Owners who wish to undertake temporary mitigation measures on their own private land (freehold and leasehold) should contact their local council for advice.

How do I ensure my activities do not impact on Aboriginal Heritage located on Crown land?

Land surrounding South Australia’s waterways and Rivers are of high importance to Aboriginal people and their communities with numerous examples of historic activities undertaken by elders and descendants.

Native Title rights continue to exist and land adjacent the River Murray and within its floodplains hosts numerous culturally significant sites, some dating back as far back as 40,000 years.

It is important that any activity occurring along the River Murray does not adversely impact on these sacred sites that are of high value to Aboriginal people and their communities.

For further information please visit the DEW website for Crown lands.

What if my infrastructure is damaged by the flood event or receding flood waters?

Should you experience any damage as a result of rising or receding flood waters, if it is safe to do so, you should make immediate attempts to secure your infrastructure to assist in preventing any further damage to it along with other structures and/or visitors within the vicinity.

Your insurance company will be able to assist with repairs and/or removal of the damaged infrastructure.

Should an emergency situation arise as a result of infrastructure located along the river you should call 000 for life threatening situations or SA State Emergency Service on 132 500.

Infrastructure and assets on Crown land

Who is responsible for infrastructure located along the river?

Recreational infrastructure (such as jetties, pontoons and retaining walls) and agricultural infrastructure (such as pumps, pipelines and pump sheds) on Crown land are owned by members of the public who usually own the adjoining property.

The responsibility for the maintenance and management of this infrastructure, including during high flow and flooding events remains with the owner of that infrastructure. Those owners are obligated to adequately insure their infrastructure as outlined in their Crown land licence’s terms and conditions.

Mooring houseboats

Where can I moor my houseboat along Crown land?

You may moor a houseboat for a temporary stay of up to 21 days on Crown land.

The permanent mooring of houseboats on Crown land is not permitted, except where authorised by the appropriate tenure or in a designated marina.

Some parts of the river are held under freehold title to the water's edge. You are not permitted to moor a houseboat in these locations without the permission of the landowner.

Councils have taken steps to close dedicated Crown land under their management based on the increase in River Murray flows. Local councils can provide further information on these closures.

DEW is assessing key Crown land sites and will take steps to restrict access to the area or facilities should this be required.

Water levels are changing on a regular basis and houseboat owners are encouraged to regularly check their vessels and adjust mooring ropes as necessary. This is not only important as river levels rise but also when waters recede due to the risk of strandings.

Houseboat owners should not rely on mooring to trees during this time, with an increased risk of trees being susceptible to collapse due to increased forces being applied from the moored vessel, the inundation softening the ground and/or erosion around their roots. A collapse risks direct damage to the vessel or through it becoming adrift.

The mooring of houseboats to existing structures along the river may result in damage to that structure and/or the houseboat. You may be liable for any damage resulting from your effort to secure your houseboat.

Flood waters are likely to extend past previously accessible waterfront public land and onto private land and you may be required to seek permission to moor your houseboat from the landholder or responsible land manager.

Visiting and accessing Crown land

What area along the River Murray in South Australia is Crown land?

Both the banks and the bed of the River Murray are Crown land and are subject to the rules that apply to Crown land and may be subject to native title.

In a majority of locations, this is an area of approximately 30 m to 50 m from the water’s edge, but may extend further inland where there is a significant wetland, swamps or conservation areas.

However, there are a few areas where private ownership exists to the water’s edge.

Where can I find information about river safety?

If you are visiting the River Murray, it’s important to do your research on the places you’ll be visiting so you can be best prepared.

Check out useful links to river safety information. Your safety is our concern but ultimately your responsibility.

How will the River Murray floods impact Crown land?

Much of the land along the River Murray and its floodplains is Crown land or land proclaimed within the State Reserve system.

The River Murray flood event is seeing water spilling from the River channel out onto these floodplains and waterfront land. As a result there are various levels of impact occurring to waterfront and floodplain Crown land.

The flood event provides a fantastic environmental opportunity to assist in restoring the River Murray floodplain and ecosystem health. It does however bring safety risks to users and visitors who should show caution when visiting Crown land and interacting with the River Murray environment during this time.

How will I know if Crown land remains accessible?

The SES website provides a list of current warnings with near real-time information on current warnings, incidents and, when available, sandbag collection locations (should that be required).

DEW also has an interactive Flood Awareness Map that shows the modelled areas of expected inundation at each of the potential flow rates provided.

DEW also issues a weekly River Murray Flow Report with information about water levels, flow rates and barrage operations, as well as navigation issues and construction activities. This currently includes the weekly High Flow Advice.

For the latest rainfall, river conditions and flood warnings upstream of the SA border visit the Bureau of Meteorology.

How can I check if roads are closed due to flooding?

Visit the SA State Emergency Services website and Department for Infrastructure and Transport websitefor information on road closures.

DEW is assessing key Crown land sites and restricting access as required, however as inundation levels increase over the coming months, it is likely more of these tracks are impacted by floodwaters. Visitors to Crown land are reminded to:

  • consider safety when visiting sites that have some level of flooding
  • not to drive through flood areas due to the risk of being bogged on River Murray floodplains
  • plan your trip so that you do not become stranded with access cut off from rising flood waters
  • not to camp to close to the edge of flood waters.

Can I still visit and/or camp on Crown land?

The River Murray high flows will impact on Crown land in different ways. The River Murray floodplains are likely to see high levels of flooding and remain inaccessible until waters recede however some of the higher waterfront Crown land parcels may only sustain minor to moderate flooding.

Visitors to Crown land are reminded to:

  • consider safety when visiting sites that have some level of flooding
  • not to drive through flood areas due to the risk of being bogged on River Murray floodplains
  • plan your trip so that you do not become stranded with access cut off from rising flood waters
  • not to camp to close to the edge of flood waters.