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Low-Flow Bypass Systems

Question asked in Parliament on Dec 7, 2017

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY ( 14:43 :06 ): My question is to the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation. Can the minister advise how many low-flow bypass systems have been constructed in the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management area and how many in the Murray-Darling NRM area? Can the minister also advise the total cost of these systems and if there were any government or taxpayer contributions to these costs and, if so, how much? Were any board members or their families recipients of taxpayer funds if they constructed low-flow bypass systems on their properties?

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Climate Change) ( 14:43 :51 ): I thank the honourable member for his intriguing question about low-flow bypasses in Mount Lofty and the Murray-Darling Basin. I know that we have run a fairly innovative competition inviting people to come up with engineering solutions for low-flow bypasses. Some of them are very high tech and some are very low tech. I am not aware of any installation at this stage, but I will inquire of my agency of the total costs, if we know it, in terms of installation. Any costs to the taxpayer would go to the running of the competition, the prizes awarded, I imagine, and any other research that has been done on the matter.

In terms of any board members benefiting from any such funding, I think the honourable member said in his question, I will have to take that on notice as well and seek a response. I suppose by that the honourable member means NRM board, I expect?

The Hon. J.A. Darley: The two boards.

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: The two NRM boards, yes. The Hon. Mr Darley has just clarified that he means the two NRM boards: the Murray-Darling and the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges. I will take that question on notice and bring back a response for him.

Response

Feb 14, 2017

In reply to the Hon. J.A. DARLEY ( 7 December 2016)

Hon Ian Hunter MLC:

“The minister for sustainability, Environment and Conservation has received the following advice:

I am advised that 11 low trial sites have been established across the Mount Lofty Ranges; four of these are in the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management (NRM) area and seven are in the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin NRM area.

These sites are being monitored in real-time and provide information about the volume of low flows released and the status of the landholders’ dam.

Funding of $340,000 for the establishment of these trial sites was provided by both NRM Boards during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 financial years. None of the trial sites are located on properties owned by NRM Board members or their family members.”

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