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Local Reference Group

Peter Croft, Director of the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth Projects has reponded to the LakesNeedWater  Socio Economic Impacts Feedback report of 7th August and our recommendation that the Long Term Plan Reference group should include marine science and hydraulic engineering experts to assess the use of sea water as a long term management strategy. Mr Croft writes,

"The current South Australian Government position for the region is for a freshwater future.  The South Australian Government is only considering the temporary introduction of a minimal amount of seawater into Lakes Alexandrina and Albert as a last resort measure to avert acidification.  As such this is presently considered beyond the scope of business for the Long-Term Plan Reference Group."

Given the membership of the local knowledge reference group for the Pomanda Island weir environmental impact process, which is significantly weighted with people connected to the 'action group' protest movement, we have concerns that the 'community leaders' chosen for inclusion in the Long Term Plan Reference Group might similarly exclude the broader range of community views evident outside the 'action group movement' and more reflective of an objective and fact based approach.

It appears that Government does not wish to identify those involved and so we cannot be sure that community views are being adequately represented. The Draft Long Term Plan's restricted range of strategies would suggest they are not.

14 August 2009