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Floods set to close last SA Murray ferry

Studies into the Murray flood will aid the management of riverine, floodplain and wetland habitats.

Studies into the Murray flood will aid the management of riverine, floodplain and wetland habitats. Photo: AAP

The last major ferry crossing over the Murray in South Australia is set to close as floodwaters continue to move down the river.

The peak has now reached Mannum, east of Adelaide and is expected to move into the Lower Lakes by the end of the week.

The rising waters will likely close the Tailem Bend ferry within the next four to seven days, causing transport issues for a significant number of local residents.

What was previously a 10-minute exercise to cross the river will turn into an 80-kilometre round trip to access the road crossing at Murray Bridge.

In response, the state government has approved a one-off $300 payment to low-income earners, pensioners and concession card holders to help cover the extra travel costs.

Treasurer Stephen Mullighan said the measure was expected to cost the government up to $3 million.

“It’s an important commitment for us to make sure people can stay mobile in these communities,” he said.

“The last thing we want is for people to feel like they can’t go about their daily lives because of these rising floodwaters.”

With around 10 ferries across the Murray in SA now closed, attention will soon turn to when receding water levels will allow services to return.

Premier Peter Malinauskas said the ferry at Lyrup, in the Riverland, was likely to be the first to reopen but there was no fixed date at present.

He said when ferries could be put back in operation was often dependent on other issues, such as the safety of the road approaches, and not just water levels.

The Murray flooding has impacted about 3400 properties in SA, including nearly 400 primary residences.

It has also closed more than 100 roads across the river communities.

– AAP

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