Feedback on our vision for The Coorong

Our vision is that The Coorong should be a healthy, productive and resilient wetland system that maintains its international significance.

This would include:

  • Filamentous green algae is reduced to manageable levels, allowing for expanded distribution and improved health of aquatic plant meadows.
  • Fish and bird communities are healthy and thriving.
  • Water quality and environmental outcomes improve as a result of optimised water delivery to the Coorong.

Do you think this is the right vision for managing the Coorong for ecological health?  

Download and read the Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin Action Plan and join in the conversation below.

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Lee Williams

14 Sep 2019

I am a bit confused? Basin plan. SE drains. how far south/east. how low do we want the SE water reserves? "the green triangle" and doesn't it need to rain?
I am concerned there is always plans, how about evaluations, . With all the potential barrage, Murray mouth and pipeline options, new SE drains? will they all be tried/untested. What then? There are many outstanding structures, upgrades, pest control, already needing a maintenance backlog to be done and isn't NO MONEY . Climate change? yep, a farmer commented to me about his great new drain, and all his compensation, and then said, it better rain soon, we are getting a bit desperate, its pretty dry, I think he was disappointed he wouldn't be able to crop his wetland?? Beans and Barley vs Ducks and swans, unfortunately neither this year. Healthy? Messing around and irreversibly changing a landscape, years ago farmers cleared land, it was part of the rules of ownership, we know how that worked out. I think the Coorong is in trouble. I think a whole lot of other landscapes are as well, or will be if this all continues without rigorous evaluation.

Government Agency

Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin > Lee Williams

15 Sep 2019

Hello Lee, good to hear from you. Some of the things you mention are being actioned in various ways in recognition that things need to be done. You have a chance to hear about those things and what is planned to be progressed with community input in our October Project Coorong Community Discussions at 5 locations between Goolwa and Robe. I invite you to have a look at the Community Discussions Sessions tab in the header bar of this page and see if you can come along. I expect it could give you hope that Project Coorong within which the Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin program sits is doing many positive things with much more to come. Thankyou for commenting.

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Pip Rasenberg

03 Sep 2019

I would like to see less engineering of our natural systems and where possible use natural fill and spill systems come back into favour , I have always been opposed to breaking through calcrete layers separating highly saline water from fresh water which goes on to contaminate some of our wonderful large wetland systems in the Upper South East in particular. We have always know there is very little fall in the landscape but many of our large systems eg West Avenue system have the potential to hold and filter many GL of water if left to fill and spill in a timely manner. it is the most sustainable way to filter water especially removing agricultural nutrients . Open channels simply deliver water quickly but also deliver undesirable contaminates that go on to cause algal blooms etc. I believe in time the new agreement in the Tilley swamp area will prove a huge benefit for water quality . More research needs to be done where large historic wetlands with healthy aquatic plants have remained mostly intact.

Government Agency

Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin > Pip Rasenberg

04 Sep 2019

Hello Pip, thankyou for commenting. What is it about the Tilley Agreement that you think will work so well? In the Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin action plan there are many non engineering activities proposed and you seem knowledgeable to give us valuable comments. Hearing the community voice on the action plan is so important so we understand what proposals and ideas the entire community has as we aim to improve the current and future ecological status of the Coorong. If you click on the Get Involved button above, your thoughts on our proposals can be captured and you will be notified when we do further consultation on our proposals. I look forward to hearing more from you.

Pip Rasenberg > Pip Rasenberg

04 Sep 2019

Historically Tilley Swamp watercourse adjoining the Tilley Swamp CP was a large natural wetland later developed for agriculture. As an old floodplain it was prone to constant flooding , the new agreement has the default position of the SEFR project (new Drain to Coorong) flooding over 4,000HA ( rather than be pushed down a drain) when the water is not required urgently for the Coorong. Like all old natural wetlands the aquatic plants will re establish themselves quickly and filter unwanted nutrients along the way before entering the Coorong , unlike drains which deliver whatever is in the flow . I have no issue with fresh surface water drains but dislike deep saline groundwater drains going into once pristine wetlands.

Government Agency

Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin > Pip Rasenberg

04 Sep 2019

Thanks for clarifying Pip. Yes natural wetlands do behave differently and this highlights how important the research is, together with the community voice to guide planning for activities. The Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin action plan covers these two important components with the understanding that each is so important for a successful outcome. The action plan also includes the formation of a Coorong Partnership advisory group to add a further community voice to the consultation we are doing. Your contribution is noted. With thanks.

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Glynis Taylor

29 Aug 2019

I'd like to see some detailed scientific work done on removal of or modification of the barrages, and the building of Lock Zero at Wellington and done quickly. With close to 50% of the inflow being lost to evaporation due to the shallowness of the lakes and the vast surface area, it is almost an environmental crime to simply continue with a business as usual approach. While I do question the size of artificially created upstream dams created for irrigation, which must also be subject to high levels of evaporative loss, I believe water lost in the lower lakes must be addressed quickly.

Government Agency

Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin > Glynis Taylor

29 Aug 2019

Hello Glynis, thank you for sharing your thoughts. There does seem to be interest in barrage modification from both you and Kent. I do wonder what other things you may consider worthwhile from the on-ground works and infrastructure investigations in the Action Plan. Take a look at the survey and see if you feel you would like to comment as it seems the main heading items would be of interest to you. It is confidential too. With Thanks

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Kent Smith

28 Aug 2019

I totally agree with Johns comments. The greatest thing this (or any government) could do for the Coorong and Lower Lakes and future generations, is to return the Lower Lakes to the natural healthy estuarine system it once was. The barrages are the problem, but if we're worried about removing them due to the impacts on housing and boating on the lakes, I believe they could be re-engineered to open and close via some sort of system of slats, to allow free flow of fresh and ocean water (and Mulloway size fish) in and out of the lakes, for 3 or 4 hours every day at high and low tide. This along with Johns suggestion of a salt barrier weir at Wellington would go a long way towards fixing the problems our forefathers have created at our end of the MDB system. Simply sending more fresh water down to the Lower Lakes and Coorong will not fix the problem. The Lower Lakes are dying because a natural healthy estuary was turned into an inefficient dam. We've destroyed the biodiversity of the original estuary and wetlands system, including the Coorong, by stopping the circular flow of fresh oxygenated sea water in and out of the lakes. The installation of the barrages also destroyed (virtually overnight) what once was arguably one of our biggest Mulloway breeding habitats. Stopping the larger natural tidal flow into and out of the lakes, has also allowed 'Bird Island', in the Coorong near the Murray mouth, to significantly increase in size and become a giant 'plug' seriously restricting sea water flow from the Murray mouth into the Coorong.

Government Agency

Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin > Kent Smith

28 Aug 2019

Hello Kent, thankyou for joining in and your comments. I am sure the team would like to hear your thoughts on the aspects of the Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin Action Plan and particularly you may be interested in the 'Water resource optimisation' and 'On-ground works' components that are in the Plan and the survey linked to the opening page of this site. You may wish to peruse the Action Plan and then offer your comments via the online survey that provides space for your suggestions beyond asking for your opinion on proposed activities. With thanks for your engagement.

Glynis Taylor > Kent Smith

29 Aug 2019

Very well said.

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John Newlands

28 Aug 2019

It is disingenuous to conflate the Coorong with the Lower Lakes. It was also hypocritical for SA to criticise upstream Murray water users when Lakes Alexandrina and Albert evaporate 900 GL a year according to some commentators. The barrages were set about 75cm above the 1930 water level but will be overwhelmed by sea level rise this century. Hypersaline sections of the Coorong will then become less so. The barrages should be opened sooner to allow the lakes to become as salty as the sea. A salt barrier weir should be built at the end of the Murray channel near Wellington with a marked navigation channel to Goolwa. The reduced need to top up lower lakes evaporation should free up more water for upstream users, not only irrigators but Adelaide and Whyalla as well.

Government Agency

Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin > John Newlands

28 Aug 2019

Hello John,
Thanks for expressing your thoughts. It seems you are not new to the topics you cover about the Coorong and salinity levels. I expect you would also find it interesting to read what we ask in our Survey on this site covering the actions proposed. I invite you to read the questions in the survey and consider offering your point of view on the Action Plan content. Once again thankyou for engaging.

Glynis Taylor > John Newlands

29 Aug 2019

Well said.

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Robert Whinnen

27 Aug 2019

There should be a mosaic of wetlands created in the South East reducing the amount of water that runs directly to the sea. The wetlands can greatly reduce the nitrogen and phosphates loads in the water and clean water be directed into the South lagoon via Salt creek. More wetlands should be opened up to recreational duck hunting because they ( the duck hunters) have proven their wholehearted commitment to preserving and enhancing our valuable wetland environments. Duck hunters are well able to manage sustainable hunting and contribute a great deal through their organisations providing funding and manpower for conservation and rehabilitation projects. There are many positive examples of such symbiotic relationship benefits here in Australia and throughout the world. It is time for small minded prejudices to stop! Deal with facts, not populism.

Government Agency

Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin > Robert Whinnen

27 Aug 2019

Hello Robert, good to hear your thoughts and I appreciate your time. I can see that you are interested in organisations contributing resources for conservation and rehabilitation. In our survey we ask about ways that responders would like to be involved in future Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin action plan initiatives. It appears you will have valuable thoughts on the short, medium and longer term activities that it contains, so if I may encourage you to fill this short survey in and offer your views. I welcome you to continue to the survey on this site.

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Government Agency

Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin

23 Aug 2019

Hello, welcome to the discussion. How could we improve on our vision for the Coorong? What are your ideas and suggestions for a future vision for this iconic site?

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