New research hub to help future-proof water resources in Goolwa region

A new water research hub will harness First Nations and community input and improve scientific knowledge to better manage the internationally significant Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth region.

The Goyder Water Research Institute will receive $8 million from the Australian Government to work with communities to investigate the impacts of climate change on the health of the waterways.

The Coorong and Lower Lakes are Ramsar-listed wetlands. They are internationally recognised for supporting rare and endangered plants and animals, as well as significant populations of waterbird and fish species.

The wetlands support the greatest wealth of waterbird species in the Murray-Darling Basin. They host important nesting colonies of cormorants, plovers, ibises and terns, and also supports globally endangered species such as the orange-bellied parrot and the Murray cod.

The Goyder Institute is a partnership between the South Australian Department of Environment and Water, CSIRO, Flinders University and the universities of Adelaide and South Australia.

It is essential we identify future threats to water security and develop an integrated approach to water management in South Australia. This is a responsible investment into the future of South Australian Natural Resources.

The investment is also another vote of confidence in the growing Goolwa community. The research hub will provide a huge boost to the local economy and attract the best and the brightest to work here.

This investment demonstrates the importance of the region to the ecological health of the Basin.

The hub should be up and running in the first half of 2023 with a planned research program.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for the Environment and Water, the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP:

“This investment is part of our plan to future-proof Australia’s water resources by investing in critical knowledge to improve management of the region as climate change impacts become more acute.

“Rivers die from the mouth up. Restoring the Murray Mouth, Lower Lakes and Coorong is a critical investment in the health of the whole system.

“An important part of the Goyder Institute’s work will be to develop relationships with First Nations, communities and industries to harness ideas to improve management of this ecologically important area.

“The Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth are not just important ecologically – they’re a tourism drawcard, and support towns, jobs and agriculture.

“Healthy rivers mean healthy river town economies. This is a down payment for the future of the Murray River.

“The projects the Goyder Institute undertake in the next 4 years will consider all these complex interdependencies to make sure we can manage these precious resources in a way that best meets the needs of our rivers and wetlands, our communities and our industries.

“I want to thank the advocacy of my South Australian Labor colleagues and Rebekha Sharkie MP – who advocated tirelessly for the importance of the Research Institute for the future of the river.

“I also want to thank Deputy Premier Susan Close for coming with me today to the Murray Mouth and for being such a strong voice for her state.”

For more information visit the website.