Coorong Infrastructure Investigations, South Australia

The Coorong National Park is a world UNESCO site and vital part of the ecology of the Murray Darling Murray Darling Basin. At various points in time it has been challenged by low flows in the Murray River. These challenges are becoming more urgent and regular with drought and a changing climate.

The government is investigating the feasibility of options for long-term infrastructure to respond to present and future water availability, water quality and ecological needs of the Coorong.

The investigation of the infrastructure options (known as Coorong Infrastructure Investigations Project (CIIP) has 3 stages

Stage 1 – Options Identification & Short-Listing – to summarise existing knowledge relating to previously investigated options, consult the community on these and any other emergent options, undertake a multi-criteria analysis, and modify/shortlist the option list based on the outcomes (to be completed by June 2020).

Stage 2 – Detailed Feasibility Investigations for Prioritised Options

Stage 3 Development of Business Case(s) – this final phase of the project involves for those infrastructure options deemed feasible, the development of business cases for consideration by the Commonwealth for funding.

DEW put community involvement in shaping, developing and implementing the Healthy Coorong Healthy Basin Program as central import.

democracyCo were engaged initially to design and deliver an engagement program for Stage 1.

The Approach

We designed a multiphase process:


  1. Agreeing outcomes, the community want for the Coorong (from the infrastructure) – survey and workshops
  2. Building understanding and understanding community preferences for the infrastructure options – this was achieved through a deliberative guide, webinar series and online survey
  3. Short listing of options – community workshops to evaluate from a community perspective the infrastructure options

Reports / Outcomes / Influence

At point of publication of this case study the project was about to enter the Feasibility study stage.  

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