The South Australian Government sought advice from the Goyder Institute for Water Research to review the assessment undertaken by the SA Government and to provide expert advice regarding the likely ecological consequences for South Australia of the proposed Basin Plan. To undertake this task, the Goyder Institute established an Expert Panel bringing together expertise across disciplines and Institute partners.
The Expert Panel was asked to:
While some environmental benefits would be achieved, the main conclusion was that the proposed Basin Plan was unlikely to maintain the ecological character of South Australian environmental assets as currently defined, especially for the Chowilla – Riverland and the Coorong, Lake Albert and Lake Alexandrina Ramsar sites.
The project identified many limitations in the assessment of the proposed Basin Plan, including a better definition of environmental water requirements for the Coorong (especially with respect to water levels) and the need to evaluate a greater range of possible flow regimes that may eventuate under the Basin Plan.
The Expert Panel assessment was based on information provided in three interim SA Government technical reports and a workshop held with experts from the SA Government. The workshop was held on 10 February 2012 and a provisional final report was submitted to the South Australian Government on 30 March 2012.
The workshop and final project reports were provided under an extremely short deadline and were delivered in consultation with government representatives to ensure that the outcomes of the Expert Panel report were fully considered in the preparation of the SA Government submission on the proposed Basin Plan.