Expert Opinion

Opinions expressed by various experts during the drought of 2003-2009. Note that some opinions may changed since they were initially stated.

Environmental scientist Professor Peter Gell, at the University of Ballarat, favours flooding the lower lakes with sea water in his ABC interview (download), dated 6 January 2009 and his Crikey posting dated 9 January 2009. 

Former Australian of the Year Tim Flannery supports building a barrage higher up the system and for the Lower Lakes to be flooded by the sea in this article in the Australian, 12 July 2008.

Dr Jennifer Marohasy, a Director of the Australian Environment Foundation, explains how the lakes and Coorong can be saved with seawater and offers an historical perspective in her Online Opinion posting dated 14 August 2008.

Associate Professor David Paton at the University of Adelaide, proposes removing Lake Albert from the River Murray system to create wetlands in an Adelaide Advertiser article, dated 14 December 2008.

Ian Kowalick, former Murray Darling Basin Commissioner, says the problems are critical in all rivers throughout the system, and that "it is not possible for the basin to return to the natural system that existed before the building of the locks and barrages", Adelaide Advertiser, 30 July 2009.

Rob Freeman, Chief Executive of the new Murray-Darling Basin Authority says that "given the likely impacts of climate change on the Basin’s water resources, we probably won’t be able to restore all of the natural values in the Basin’s unique rivers and wetlands" in this press release, 8 January 2009.

In a report from June 2000, the Murray Darling Basin Commission's (132 pages) "Murray River Barrages Environmental Flows" eerily predicts many of the problems we are facing today.