Newsletter April 2012

From the Editor

Welcome to the Lakes Need Water Newsletter April 2012 edition. This month we would like to acknowledge the Ngarrindjeri, the traditional owners of the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Lower River Murray.

Ngarrindjeri - traditional owners of the Lower Lakes region

The Ngarrindjeri are the indigenous Australians who have inhabited the Coorong and Lower Lakes region for tens of thousands of years, and for whom their waters are of deep spiritual significance. In 2006, Ngarrindjeri groups came together to create the Ngarrindjeri Nation Yarluwar-Ruwe (Sea Country) Plan (1.8MB PDF), from which the following excerpts are worth highlighting:

Until [the construction of the barrages], saltwater mixed with fresh water and sometimes travelled great distances up the river and the ecosystems of the lakes and the river had depended on the mixing of saltwater and freshwater. 

The barrages were built at the request of European landowners and without the consent of Ngarrindjeri people.  For the last 65 years we have witnessed the decline in the health, wildlife and other resources of the lakes and the river, made worse by the deliberate introduction of exotic species, such as the European Carp and destructive farming practices such as dairy farming, irrigation, land clearing and cattle and sheep grazing.

There is no acknowledgement of the impact of these devastating environmental changes on Ngarrindjeri access to traditional resources, and the wider impacts on Ngarrindjeri life and culture.

It is worth reading the whole document to learn more.  Also read the latest Lakes Need Water feature, "Ngarrindjerri - the first fishers of the Lower Lakes".

Murray Darling Draft Basin Plan submissions due NOW

Final reminder!  Feedback on the basin plan is due on Monday 16th of April 2012.  Click here to give you feedback.

The barrages and the Lower Lakes are briefly mentioned on pages 38-39 of the "Delivering a Healthy Working Basin" document.  We encourage everyone to have your say and be counted in the responses. Feel free to reuse any content from

Photo of the Month

River Murray meets Lake Alexandrina, February 2012


The Lakes Need Water Team