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Wednesday, 26 March 1969

Senator SCOTT - I have seen the statement outlined by the honourable senator and I would like to congratulate that organisation for its forward thinking in supporting the River Murray Commission's decision that the first dam to be built should be the dam at Dartmouth. The reason, of course, that it is supporting this project is that it will guarantee South Australia an extra 0.246 million acre feet of water per year. This is quite different from the recommendations that have been made in this place by members of the Opposition, in which they have said that they want Chowilla. Chowilla can never, under any circumstances, provide this additional amount of water for South Australia. Therefore, I can understand people living in the valley of the River Murray congratulating the authorities concerned on their decision to build the Dartmouth Dam as the first stage in providing extra water for South Australia. The authorities go on to say that in their belief consideration should be given, when this is completed, to the next stage, and when that comes about serious consideration could be given to the building of the Chowilla project. ] know that this Government: and other governments will be looking at this site in the years ahead.

In relation to the latter part of the question as to what is being done in regard to reducing salinity in the River Murray, two projects have already been approved by this Government and finance has been made available to, 1 think, Victoria, for the expenditure of about $3m to reduce salinity in the River Murray, and no doubt the Minister for National Development, together with other members of the River Murray Commission, will be looking at other ways of keeping the salinity of the River Murray to a minimum.


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