About the Locks 8 & 9 project
The Locks 8 & 9 project focuses on sustainable diversion limit offsets in the Lower Murray. It aims to restore and enhance the river habitat across the interconnected Frenchmans Creek and Carrs, Capitts and Bunberoo Creek systems.
The package of works includes:
- Changes to operating principles for weirs 8 and 9 through establishing agreed triggers and scenarios where weirs-pools can be raised or lowered to reinstate a more variable watering regime. It will provide intermittent inundation and exposure of wetlands, aquatic plant beds and floodplain vegetation.
- Installation of regulators and fishways on existing fixed crest weirs to restore fast flowing habitat and hydro-dynamic diversity to the Carrs, Capitts and Bunberoo Creeks.
- Restoring fish passage between Lake Victoria and the River Murray through the construction of a fishway at the Frenchmans Creek inlet regulator.
The project will be managed along with other proposed changes in river operations and existing environmental infrastructure, such as The Living Murray works at Mulcra Island and the proposed works at Wallpolla Island.
The works propose to generate significant environmental benefits including:
- Promotion of fish growth, breeding and dispersal
- Increased habitat use and re-instating seasonal wetting and drying of the wetlands and floodplains
- Improvement in water quality
- Reduction of water lost through evaporation in summer
- Restoration of habitat and food resources
- Promotion of bird breeding
This will be achieved by introducing a more natural watering regime, which will improve habitat productivity and quality, and promote aquatic fauna and water bird use, encourage fish growth and reduce water losses from evaporation.
The project will be managed collaboratively with relevant stakeholders in New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria.
A Stakeholder Advisory Group has been formed to guide the project decision-making process. It includes representatives from key stakeholder groups, local landholders and Traditional Owners.
The Lower Murray is rich in cultural and spiritual significance. The Traditional Owners, the Barkindji people, will play a key role ensuring cultural considerations are made throughout the project.
Hydrologic and hydraulic modelling will be undertaken to inform the options assessment, design and operational planning stages for the Locks 8 & 9 project. Modelling will be fundamental to validating project feasibility, through considering designs, outcomes, costs and impacts, prior to commencing the design, submission and approval process.