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Paringa's Lock 5 to close for repairs, upgrade.

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Tuesday, 8 July, 2008

Paringa’s Lock 5 to close for repairs, upgrade Murray River users will not be able to pass through Lock 5 at Paringa in South Australia for about three months from July 14 while vital maintenance work is undertaken by SA Water on behalf of the Murray Darling Basin Commission (MDBC).

MDBC Chief Executive Dr Wendy Craik AM said the lock would be closed until the beginning of October as part of a six-year maintenance program on all of the locks along the river.

“The only other lock to be closed during the next few months is Lock 10 at Wentworth, New South Wales, which closed in May and will re-open in September,” Dr Craik said.

“This is the first time we have planned to empty the lock chambers at Lock 5 since 1965 when the wooden gates were replaced with steel. The empty locks will allow SA Water to do a comprehensive inspection of the underwater components, Dr Craik said.

“Although users will not be able to travel the full length of the River at times during this period, they will still be able to enjoy using the river either upstream or downstream of Lock 5.”

SA Water Head of Regional Operations Rob Dowling said that during works people would still be able to travel upstream from Renmark and downstream from Berri, but will not be able to travel between the two towns. “The grounds and facilities around the lock will also be closed to the

general public and will reopen once work is finished,” Mr Dowling said.

Works to be carried out on Lock 5 include: É Constructing temporary dams on the upstream and downstream ends of the lock chamber É De-watering the lock chamber É Inspecting and repainting the lock chamber gates É Replacing the 12 large valves which control the flow of water into and out of the lock

chamber É Inspection of the chamber floor and undertaking any repairs on components which would normally be submerged

“We have consulted with River Murray tourism operators to develop the works program to ensure we avoid the peak boating season and we will be working as quickly as possible to minimise the interruption,” Mr Dowling said.

“We will notify the community when the work at each lock is complete and the lock chamber is back in operation. The lock and weirs have been in service for over 80 years now and this work will ensure that they continue to operate for a long time to come.”

The next lock scheduled for maintenance is Lock 1 at Blanchetown and it is anticipated work will begin at the end of January 2009. The public will be notified prior to the closure of the lock.

Media contacts: Sam Leone, MDBC Media Liaision, Phone: 0407 006 332

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