Project Coorong launches public consultation on infrastructure developments

Have your say: The Coorong Partnership (pictured) will discuss feedback from a new survey that is open to the public.
Have your say: The Coorong Partnership (pictured) will discuss feedback from a new survey that is open to the public.

Members of the public and key stakeholders now have the opportunity to have their say on the future of the Coorong, through a new consultation survey.

Designed by Project Coorong - an initiative of the state government - the survey covers future plans on infrastructure options aimed at supporting the recovery of the iconic Coorong system.

It assesses the environmental, social and cultural benefits and impacts of a range of long-term management solutions to improve the health of the Coorong.

The federal and state governments have committed $70 million towards Project Coorong, and South Australian Minister for Environment and Water, David Speirs said a number of major infrastructure and management options have been identified to potentially improve water delivery.

"The Coorong is a national treasure and unique environment, widely regarded as one of the most important waterbird wetlands in Australia," said Mr Speirs.

"Project Coorong is a strong plan to help get the Coorong back on track for a healthy future, and to ensure the Ramsar site maintains its international significance.

"Across the years a number of management options have been put forward and it's important that work to restore a healthy Coorong is based on the best science, as well as the experience and knowledge of the local community and First Nations."

Feedback gained through the survey will be discussed with the 'Coorong Partnership', a South Australian group that was formed in March.

The partnership aims to provide communities and interest groups with an opportunity to help shape the work being undertaken to restore the health and vitality of the Coorong, as well as promote tourism experiences in the region.

Local members of the partnership include Alexandrina mayor Keith Parkes and tourism operator Joel Hirsch.

Following discussions, the Coorong Partnership will then hold targeted community workshops with the help of a range of experts to further explore options.

"The Marshall Liberal Government and Morrison Coalition Government have committed $70 million towards Project Coorong and this consultation will help investigate the feasibility of options for long- term infrastructure to respond to present and future water availability, water quality and ecological needs," said Mr Speirs.

"Our government is committed to working with local communities and stakeholders to explore and evaluate infrastructure ideas to address the issues facing the Coorong.

"Through years of monitoring and research, we have built a good understanding of the Coorong and its role in supporting a unique diversity of fish, plants and waterbirds. However some elements of the Coorong have now undergone a number of long-term changes and a number of new threats to the system present challenges for which we need to find solutions."

To complete the survey, visit: surveymonkey.com/r/CoorongCritA.