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Wednesday, 9 March 1966

Mr FAIRBAIRN - The River Murray Commission is keeping a very close watch on the availability of water in the River Murray. The Commission will meet in just over a fortnight's time to discuss this question. The honorable member referred to increased storages. I point out that four governments are involved in this matter. The Commonwealth has only a quarter share and, if a decision is reached to build a new dam, it must affect every one of the four governments. But I would point out also that we are building at the present moment at Chowilla a dam which will hold five million acre feet when it is completed in 1969, In addition, the first water has just been turned into the Murray from the Snowy River. When this scheme is operating fully I think an additional 800,000 acre feet per annum will be made available for irrigators in the Murray Valley. This water previously flowed to the sea. So it does seem to me that, in the immediate future, the position of the River Murray should improve quite considerably.

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