Opinion

Independence of Lower Lakes review questioned

By Country News

By Jan Beer, Yea

The Lower Lakes Science Review report is seriously compromised, in that the Murray-Darling Basin Association’s Advisory Committee on Social, Economic and Environmental Sciences, directed and controlled the review panel, using the terms of reference to manipulate a desired outcome in the report.

The MDBA established the Advisory Committee on Social, Economic and Environmental Sciences in 2012 and has governance of it, overseeing its control and direction.

The MDBA asked ACSEES to steer the review process, advise or write appropriate terms of reference, advise on suitable experts to conduct the review, participate in a technical workshop to examine the preliminary findings of the review, and peer review the draft final report.

Of the 35 technical workshop participants, 12 were from the MDBA, ACSEES and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder.

They then, have the gall to tell us this is an independent report.

ACSEES directed the review panel to report on regional social, environmental and economic implications of removing the barrages, and investigate if this would result in significant water savings?

What a complete waste of time and taxpayers’ money.

Everyone knows it is impossible to remove the barrages due to the impact on development and infrastructure round the lakes.

Southern connected basin organisations and communities for years have been asking the MDBA to investigate modernising the barrages and installing Lock Zero as a solution, which would save about 2700 Gl/year and allow flushing of the lakes and Murray Mouth in co-ordination with an outgoing tide.

Investigation of this solution was conveniently ignored, despite the fact that we are faced with a decline in water availability and rising sea levels which will overcome the current management of the Lower Lakes, Coorong and Murray Mouth.