Senate debates

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Bills

Water Amendment (Water for the Environment Special Account) Bill 2012; In Committee

10:57 am

Photo of Don FarrellDon Farrell (SA, Australian Labor Party, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water) Share this | Hansard source

I thank Senator Xenophon for his question. The questions you have asked are principally set out in schedule 5 of the Basin Plan. I will read those out to you for the record:

(2)   The outcomes that will be pursued are:

(a)   further reducing salinity levels in the Coorong and Lower Lakes so that improved water quality contributes to the health of macroinvertebrates, fish and plants that form important parts of the food chain, for example:

  (i)   maximum average daily salinity in the Coorong South Lagoon is less than 100 grams per litre; and

  (ii)   maximum average daily salinity in the Coorong North Lagoon is less than 50 grams per litre; and

  (iii)   average daily salinity in Lake Alexandrina is less than 1000EC for 95% of years and 1500EC all of the time;

(b)   keeping water levels in the Lower Lakes above 0.4 metres AHD for 95% of the time and above 0.0 metres AHD at all times to help maintain flows to the Coorong, prevent acidification, prevent acid drainage and prevent riverbank collapse below Lock 1;

(c)   ensuring the mouth of the River Murray is open without the need for dredging in at least 95% of years, with flows every year through the Murray Mouth Barrages;

(d)   exporting 2 million tonnes per year of salt from the Murray-Darling Basin as a long-term average;

(e)   increasing flows through the barrages to the Coorong and supporting more years where critical fish migrations can occur;

(f)   in conjunction with removing or easing constraints, providing opportunities for environmental watering of an additional 35,000 ha of floodplain in South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria, improving the health of forests and fish and bird habitat, improving the connection to the river, and replenishing groundwater; and

(g)   achieving enhanced in-stream outcomes and improved connections with low to middle level floodplain and habitats adjacent to rivers in the southern Murray-Darling Basin.

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