Sustainable Recreation Project

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The Sustainable Recreation Project for the River Murray and Lower Lakes is a joint initiative between the Murray Darling Association, River Murray Water Catchment Board, State Government, Local Government, Local Action Planning groups, and special interest groups.

The aim of the project is to promote the sustainable use of the riparian River Murray zone and Lower Lakes area for recreation without environmental degradation. The project commenced in 1997 with a study commissioned by the Mid-Murray Local Action Planning Group and Mid-Murray Council to identify priority sites for rehabilitation. The project has since expanded and under direction of the Board in 2000 a multi-stakeholder Steering Committee was established.

Initially the main role of the Steering Committee was to oversee the development of a Sustainable Recreation Strategy encompassing the SA River Murray and Lower Lakes. The Strategy, completed in 2002, identified priority actions and suggested roles and responsibilities.

The priority areas of work recommended in the Strategy include:

  • Education of recreational users - development of signage, codes of conduct, fact sheets, and actively working with commercial operators and Councils to ensure uptake and acceptance of these.
  • Identifying priority sites for rehabilitation - working with Local Councils and Local Action Planning Groups to develop criteria, assess sites, and develop recommendations for on-ground works in each council area.
  • Identifying funding opportunities to conduct on-ground works - working with State Government departments (Office of Recreation and Sport, SA Tourism Commission, Planning SA) to ensure continuation of their sponsorships.
  • Develop partnerships with Councils to identify the potential for maintenance programs to be established at frequently used sites.
  • Implement a small number of on-ground works projects to establish some "feature" sites along the length of the river that can serve as an example.


The first site rehabilitation project was completed at Tenbury-Hunter Reserve, Swan Reach, by the Mid Murray Council and Mid Murray LAP.  The second site rehabilitation project was completed at Fred's Landing, Tailem Bend, by Coorong District Council.  The third site rehabilitation project was completed at Berri Riverfront Park and Visitor Information Centre, by Berri Barmera Council and Berri Resort Hotel.

Since then, The River Murray Sustainable Recreation Site Planning and Implementation Guide was developed in July 2003. This guide provides a toolkit and guidelines for Local Councils and community groups to plan, manage and implement rehabilitation projects at recreation sites.  The guide details each step of the process, and provides designs for facilities (such as campgrounds, toilets, site furniture, roads, pedestrian paths, etc) and geneal design principles.

In April 2005, the Sustainable Recreation Project Management Recommendation Report for the Local Councils of the River Murray and Lower Lakes, was published.  This report assesses and recommends management of 35 sites within the 7 Council areas of the River Murray and Lower Lakes.

The Project has been successful for funding from the following:
South Australian Tourism Commission (Tourism Development Fund 2004/05 and 2005/06) for projects at Plush's Bend, Renmark, in partnership with Renmark-Paringa Council; and Ngaut Ngaut Conservation Park, Nildottie, in partnership with the Mannum Aboriginal Community Association Inc. and the Mid Murray Council.
Australian Government's NHT Envirofund (2 grants in 2005/06) for rehabilitiation works at Plush's Bend, Renmark, in partnership with Renmark Paringa Council and the Renmark to the Border LAP; and at Hogwash Bend, Waikerie, in partnership with Mid Murray Council and the Riverland West LAP.

Download a copy of the Sustainable Recreation Guide 

Download a copy of the Sustainable Recreation Strategy  (196 kb)
Download a copy of the Codes of Conduct  (301 kb)
Download a copy of the Site Planning and Implementation Guide  (259 kb)

For more information contact: