Water flows into the Lake Eyre Basin coincide with review of cross-border agreement
20 April 2018
Posted 20 April 2018.
Water making its way down the rivers of the Lake Eyre Basin through Birdsville and Innamincka is rejuvenating the landscape and providing life-giving flows to the region.
The area the water is flowing across forms part of the Lake Eyre Basin (LEB) which is one of the largest dryland water systems in the world. Rivers from QLD, NT, NSW, and SA contribute flows to the Basin, which has its natural and environmental values largely intact.
It is timely that an agreement which governs the cross-border management of the Lake Eyre Basin (LEB) is under review and SA Arid Lands NRM Presiding Member Janet Brook is urging the SA Arid Lands community to have its say in the once in a decade opportunity.
The LEB Intergovernmental Agreement was established by the Australian, Qld, NT and SA governments to ensure a coordinated approach to managing water and other natural resources to minimise impacts on downstream catchment areas and protect the Basin’s unique values. The review of this agreement is underway with submissions accepted until 2 May 2018.
Janet, who lives on Cordillo Downs in the LEB catchment area, is also one of three South Australian representatives on the Lake Eyre Basin Community Advisory Committee, along with Sharon Oldfield from Cowarie Station and George Cooley from Coober Pedy.
Given the South Australian LEB Agreement Area is entirely in SA Arid Lands Region and is of relevance to pastoralists, tourism operators, traditional owners, the resource sector and residents across the region, Janet says it’s important that individuals and representative groups take the time to look at the review and make a submission.
“The Lake Eyre Basin is crucial to our region, both environmentally and economically, so I encourage people with an interest in seeing this area managed for the benefit of us all to consider how the Agreement is working for their benefit and how it might be improved,” Janet said.
And even if people are satisfied with the current operation of the Agreement, Janet says it is important to let governing bodies know by making a submission that this work is important and should be continued so the health of the basin is monitored and any threats are being managed.
A number of recommendations have emerged from the current review which include: possible expansion of the Basin Agreement area to include parts of the catchment in NSW and SA not currently covered by the Agreement; and exploring connections between the Lake Eyre Basin and the underlying resource in the Great Artesian Basin.
Visit the Lake Eyre Basin website for more information and to make a submission.