Newly formed, state government backed community group 'The Coorong Partnership', is busy working hard to secure and realise effective management of South Australia's iconic Coorong.
Meeting for the first time on March 12, the Coorong Partnership has prioritised providing communities and interest groups with an opportunity to help shape the work being undertaken to restore the health and vitality of the Coorong, as well as promote tourism experiences in the region.
Formed following a state government request for nominations in 2019, the group represents a broad cross section of the community.
Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said incorporating the experience and knowledge of the local community and First Nations was critical to successfully restoring the health of the Coorong.
"I'm really pleased with the calibre of individuals selected," said Mr Speirs.
"We've chosen a good cross section of the community with a broad range of interests and expertise including conservation, recreation, science, agriculture, local government, tourism, fishing, heritage and Aboriginal culture.
"This new group will have a key role in providing ideas and community insights into the development, implementation and performance of the various Project Coorong initiatives."
Members of the new Coorong Partnership are:
- Hon Dean Brown AO (Chair)
- Mr Keith Parkes, Mayor Alexandrina Council
- Ms Samantha Blight, Coorong District Council
- Ms Robyn Campbell, First Nations of the South East
- Mr Geoff Gallasch, community member
- Mr Paul Harvey, community member
- Mr Glen Hill, community member
- Mr Joel Hirsch, community member
The group is an initiative of the state government's Project Coorong, which is currently undertaking environmental projects and initiatives aimed at boosting eco-tourism, with a focus on the Coorong National Park.
Mr Speirs said the Coorong Partnership would work on building trust and cooperation across Project Coorong by improving transparency and ensuring the local community is appropriately represented.
"I look forward to learning from these experienced individuals as we work together to deliver better outcomes for our precious Coorong," said Mr Speirs.
Chair of the Coorong Partnership, former South Australian premier Dean Brown, said the partnership will be a very effective means of listening to the community on how best to help restore the health of the Coorong and to develop opportunities for tourism and recreational activities in the Coorong National Park.
"The Coorong is a unique part of the Murray-Darling Basin and a great South Australian icon and the Partnership members will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to help manage the area," Mr Brown said.
To find out more about Project Coorong visit: environment.sa.gov.au/topics/coorong