$8M research institute for Coorong and Lower Lakes
The Federal Government has announced $8 million for a research institute focussing on the health of the Murray Mouth, Lower Lakes and Coorong thanks to the advocacy of the Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie.
The new 'Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth Research Hub' will be overseen by the Goyder Institute and its central office is expected to operate out of Goolwa.
"The Murray River and its tributaries are the lifeblood of our communities between the Lower Lakes and the Coorong so I welcome the Government's commitment to this project and thank them for listening to the advocacy of our community," Rebekha said.
"This critical wetland is internationally recognised and so important to our local communities who rely on the environmental health of the Murray for our economic, environmental and social wellbeing.
"But the Murray Mouth, Lower Lakes and Coorong are at the bottom of the river system and the most vulnerable to drought and over-allocation.
"Climate change is putting added pressure upon a river system that is already under enormous strain from the upstream mismanagement of large corporate irrigators.
"I first called for this research hub in the lead-up to the 2018 Mayo by-election.
"The vision was, and is, for the establishment of an institute based in Goolwa, dedicated to research on how to make our part of the river more resilient to the ebbs and flows of upstream conditions, to find new solutions for the management of salinity, water, wetlands, ecosystems and nutrient levels, to provide real-time summaries on the ecological condition of the river and to monitor and report on the socioeconomic benefits for stakeholders during ebb and flow events.
"This region is well-positioned to provide the leadership needed for a community-driven hub that can source and share the scientific knowledge of our local communities, including our Indigenous communities, researchers and governments for a sustainable wetland."
Goyder Institute Director, Dr Kane Aldridge, said that “The new Hub presents an exciting opportunity to bring together the knowledge of all stakeholders of this iconic wetland system to support the management of its critical environmental, cultural, social, and economic values into the future. We will work with First Nations, the community, governments and researchers to identify, create, integrate and adopt critical knowledge for the future management of the region that is required to support the prosperity of the communities that depend on its health”.