Now Closed

This online engagement was hosted on YourSAy from 7 July to 26 July 2020. Find out more about the consultation process. Below is a record of the engagement.


The Coorong is a national treasure, recognised with lakes Alexandrina and Albert under the Ramsar Convention as a wetland of international significance, supporting endangered migratory birds from across the world, threatened wildlife and rare plants.

Following the devastating impacts of the Millennium Drought and years of basin-wide over-allocation, the Coorong has shown positive signs of recovery due to a range of work undertaken and continuing in the region, but more work is needed to restore the South Lagoon back to health.

As part of the broader Project Coorong initiative, the Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin Program is supporting the long-term health of the Coorong, with a focus on the Coorong South Lagoon.

Our vision for the Coorong is a healthy, productive and resilient wetland system that maintains its international significance.

The Desired State of the Southern Coorong discussion paper seeks to build a shared understanding of the existing and emerging scientific knowledge of the southern Coorong and describe what we think the the condition of the southern Coorong should be so we can guide management priorities and actions and help to restore its ecological character.

The Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin Program is investigating and delivering on-ground works, management tools, research, trials and other activities required to support a healthy future for the Coorong.

Maintaining the long-term ecological health and resilience of the Coorong may not be achievable through improved knowledge and water resource optimisation alone. There is growing acceptance that additional management options may be required, particularly in the face of climate change.

Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin’s Coorong Infrastructure Investigations Project will investigate the technical feasibility, the environmental, social and cultural benefits as well as the impacts of long-term management solutions to support the long-term health of the Coorong.

As a first stage of this process, environmental, social and cultural criteria were identified by scientific experts, First Nations and community representatives to help prioritise which projects should be investigated in detail.

Community representatives determined the most important outcome is finding the option/s that best contribute to improving the Coorong South Lagoon’s ecology, as determined by scientific evidence, given water availability and constraints.

They also identified it was very important that the selection option/s:

  • protect sites and areas of all cultural, Indigenous and broader community significance
  • provide a long-term solution that can be sustainably managed
  • reflect the needs of the community
  • grow/support local economic opportunities and education now and into the future
  • enable continued and enhanced use of the wetland in a sustainable manner
  • are able to be adaptable, flexible and are aesthetically sensitive.

These essential outcomes have been used as the criteria for the community to consider when helping short-list options to be investigated in detail.

The Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin Program is a $70 million Australian and South Australian governments’ commitment to restore a healthy Coorong, with a specific focus on the Coorong South Lagoon.