• Hannah Phillips

Local Coorong Conservationist Picked for State Panel

Passionate local conservationist and Coorong District Councillor, Julie Barrie, has been appointed as a new representative on SA's Coorong, Lower Lakes, & Murray Mouth Community Advisory Panel (CLLMM CAP).

Cr. Barrie's appointment will see the local Coorong community able to express their collective voice at the table of decision-makers when it comes to management of the environmentally significant Coorong, Lower Lakes & Murray Mouth areas.

The State Government advisory group is now facilitated by the newly formed Department for Environment and Water, and was originally established in 2011 to promote two-way information sharing between local communities and the Government, regarding management of the area.

Cr. Barrie was humbled by her selection to the CAP and is looking forward to playing her part in ensuring a sustainable future for one of Australia’s most unique and precious environments.

“The CAP has a powerful voice in the future vision and direction for the Coorong and a major impact on decision making across all levels of government," she said.

“I’m passionate about the whole Murray-Darling system and protecting our many wonderful environmental assets – so I’m ready for the challenge involved with the CLLMM CAP and looking forward to working with key agencies to ensure our community is heard.

“There’s so much at stake in protecting these waterways. Not just for local people, but nationally. We’re at the end of the Murray-Darling system, and we need to ensure it stays healthy to support the livelihoods of people and ecosystems.

“I’m not just advocating for management and protection of the Coorong and Lower Lakes systems over the next decade, I’m looking at the next 200 years.

"My goal is to ensure the next 200 years of generations can enjoy this magical region in the same way we do.” Cr. Barrie has hit the ground running, attending the Coorong Summit in Adelaide earlier this month, along with local fishermen, indigenous leaders and various Government officials.

Cr. Barrie says the round table discussion, involving collaboration from all stakeholders, was “a refreshing approach to the issue” and focussed on issues affecting Coorong’s southern lagoon, including high salinity and the lowest water levels seen in decades.

“All ideas were taken seriously, given merit and included in the information to be drafted into a report for the Minister, which I’m looking forward to seeing and discussing with Council, stakeholders and our community."

Coorong Mayor Neville Jaensch says the local representative will be an asset to the group: “Cr. Barrie’s appointment, among the many other roles and community groups she makes time for, demonstrates her passion and commitment for the Coorong," he said.

“She believes in people working together to find a solution for our water and environmental issues and has also been an executive member of Murray Darling Association Region 6 for the past four years, so her knowledge of the issues is exceptional.

“It’s vital our Council has a passionate local advocate on the group, working directly with the State Government and the new Minister for Environment and Water, David Speirs.

“Coorong District Council is committed to achieving and advocating for sustainability through the protection of natural resource assets, and Cr. Barrie’s new role will be a key part of this.”

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