16 April 2024

Federal Government commits $17m to improve SA's lower Murray wetlands

| Andrew McLaughlin
Start the conversation
aerial view of a river mouth and coastline

The Murray River mouth and vast Coorong wetlands, where habitat restoration work will be given a significant boost thanks to additional funding. Photo: DCCEEW.

A plan to improve the shorebird and wetlands habitat across South Australia’s Coorong, Lower Lakes, Murray Mouth and South-East landscape has received a $17 million funding boost.

Located at the mouth of the Murray River, the region has an internationally recognised wetland that supports a variety of plants and animals, including the endangered Australasian bittern and the vulnerable sharp-tailed sandpiper.

The commitment from the Federal Government and Australian Greens will see current habitat restoration work receive a significant boost.

READ ALSO Koonibba Test Range spaceport near Ceduna prepares for first launch

The funding will:

  • Deliver a range of localised infrastructure on wetland and floodplain flats to increase the area and duration of quality shorebird and wetland habitat
  • Maintain food webs and improve critical breeding habitat for foraging waterbirds and other threatened species
  • Improve outcomes for waterbirds and strengthen Australia’s commitment to international obligations, including the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance.

The South Australian Department for Environment and Water will work closely with community groups, landholders and landscape boards to develop a regional approach to habitat restoration, targeting smaller wetlands that cumulatively have a large impact and create a connected mosaic of habitats across the region.

The integrated project will also work with First Nations groups to connect to Country and meet cultural obligations while ensuring the survival of healthy shorebird populations and vital wetland habitat.

Federal Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek said restoring the Murray Mouth, Lower Lakes and Coorong was a critical investment in the health of the whole system.

“The Murray-Darling Basin is vital for our communities, farmers and First Nations groups, and we must also work together to protect and restore wetlands within the basin,” she said.

“This new project will ensure the survival of our internationally significant wetlands and the plants and animals who call them home.”

South Australian Deputy Premier and Minister for Climate, Environment and Water Susan Close said the Coorong, Lower Lakes, Murray Mouth and South East regions were areas of incredible biodiversity.

“A number of important habitat restoration projects are already planned or well underway, and this new funding will add to the work being undertaken,” she said.

“It is vital that we help our wetland environments to thrive so they can remain strong into the future for the important wildlife that relies on them.”

READ ALSO South Australia commits $17 million to fight against fire ants

Greens spokesperson for the environment and water Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the Murray Mouth, Coorong and Lower Lakes were special areas for many South Australians.

“Last year I was proud to stand with Minister Plibersek to announce that we had secured a critical lifeline for the Murray Darling after more than a decade of inaction,” she said.

“Today, I’m proud that the Greens’ advocacy has helped to secure this much-needed funding.

“The Greens have been fighting for years to protect this area from corporate greed and over-extraction, and this project will be an important step for our precious waterways and ecosystems.”

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.