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10 December 2019 Partner Release

PARTNER RELEASE - The science of South Australia's Lower Lakes will be reviewed by an independent team led by Australia's national science agency CSIRO and assisted by the MDBA's Advisory Committee on Social, Economic and Environmental Sciences (ACSEES).

The MDBA wants to ensure that the management arrangements for the Lower Lakes continue to consider the best available science for the benefit of all users and interests.

Carl Binning, Executive Director of Partnerships, Science, Knowledge and Engagement, said the MDBA is committed to openness and transparency and welcomed the recent debate about Lower Lakes management.

"We're confident in the way governments are managing the Lower Lakes but know there is renewed community interest in all aspects of water management, which is why we wanted this review to take place," Mr Binning said.

Chair of ACSEES, Professor Rob Vertessy, says ACSEES looks forward to working with the review team.

"The Lower Lakes and Coorong are a vital asset and of great cultural significance to the Ngarrindjeri Nation and the First Nations of the South East. The wetlands are internationally recognised, supporting endangered migratory birds, threatened wildlife and rare plants. The lakes also support a thriving agricultural sector. Therefore, it's critical that the Lower Lakes are well managed," Professor Vertessy said. 

The review will be chaired by Dr Francis Chiew from CSIRO with support from Ms Jennifer Hale (Independent aquatic ecology consultant), Dr Michael Reid (University of New England) and Dr Klaus Joehnk (CSIRO).

Dr Chiew welcomed the opportunity to be involved in the review.

"We need to ensure that the management of the Lower Lakes, including the connected lower River Murray and Coorong is well supported and understood through the best scientific knowledge," Dr Chiew said.

"The team will examine the extensive range of scientific studies on the Lower Lakes to determine whether any additional information needs to be factored into management planning and what implications there may be for the management of the Lakes into the future."

ACSEES provides independent, strategic advice to the Murray–Darling Basin Authority. The Committee's work helps to ensure the Basin Plan is implemented with regard to the best available scientific knowledge. Its members have high standing in the fields of economics, hydrology, ecology and resilience, water governance and law, sociology and sustainable systems.

Read original media release on the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) website: Independent review of Lower Lakes science underway

Images

Lower water levels in the Lower lakes in 2009 © 
Sampling conducted by boat in the Lower Lakes in 2009 as part of the Coorong Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth Research Cluster work.
The Goolwa Barrage Bridge was built in 1940 as a barrier between the freshwater of the Murray River and the saltwater of the Coorong and Southern Ocean.
Coorong National Park. ©  Tanya Doody CSIRO

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