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Govt. should avoid rather than prepare for Lower Lakes' worst case scenario.

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Media Release | Spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young Wednesday 4th February 2009, 7:51am

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says Lower Lakes communities need more information

from the Federal Government about what is being done to avoid a worst case scenario

occurring to their treasured environment.

A period of public consultation has commenced, on the option of opening barrages to allow

saltwater to flood into South Australia’s freshwater Lake Alexandrina, concluding on

February 16 2009.

“The Lower Lakes communities have heard little as to what is being done to avoid that worst

case scenario of acidification where saltwater flooding would be needed,” said Senator


“While it is encouraging that public consultation has been granted on this decision, the lack

of progress in securing freshwater flows, or warding off acidification through bioremediation,

suggests that the Federal Government is leaning towards the devastating option of saltwater


“Likewise, SA Water Minister Karlene Maywald’s comments about saltwater flooding being

a last resort sound hollow, considering her Government’s lack of commitment to allocating

increased environmental flows.”

Senator Hanson-Young said the $200 million already allocated to rescue the Lower Lakes

could be being used now to secure freshwater from upstream and employ local people to

activate interim bioremediation programs.

“The Greens encourage concerned South Australians to have their say in the public

consultation process before it concludes on February 16, and tell Environment Minister

Garrett exactly how disastrous saltwater flooding would prove for the Lakes, and the

communities and economies that rely upon them,” she said.

“The Environment Minister must prioritise a visit to the Lakes to see the situation for himself

before the month is out.”