Reply to the discussion by Gell and Finlayson (2023)

R. P. Bourman, C. V. Murray-Wallace, C. Wilson, L. Mosley, J. Tibby, D. D. Ryan, E. D. De Carli, A. Tulley, A. P. Belperio, D. Haynes, A. Roberts, C. Westell, E. J. Barnett, S. Dillenburg, L. Beheregaray, P. Hesp

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


The discussion by Gell and Finlayson (Citation2023) contains incorrect assertions and fails to disprove the multi-faceted independent scientific evidence presented by Bourman et al. (Citation2022), and the subsequent work of Tibby et al. (Citation2022) supporting a predominantly freshwater condition of the Lower Murray and the Lower Lakes in South Australia throughout the Holocene. The paper by Bourman et al. (Citation2022) represents the contributions of 16 specialist scientists whose independent research was combined and provided multiple line of evidence supporting these conditions. With these findings, it became evident that there was no scientific basis for claims such as those made by Helfensdorfer et al. (Citation2020, 2021), Hubble et al. (Citation2021) and Job et al. (Citation2021) that the lakes were marine- and estuarine-dominated. There is no political necessity for Bourman et al. (Citation2022) to promote a freshwater management strategy for the Lower Lakes, as this has already been achieved under the Murray–Darling Basin Plan developed with extensive community consultation (Murray–Darling Basin Authority, Citation2012)...
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-452
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Journal of Earth Sciences
Issue number3
Early online date26 Feb 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Feb 2023


  • River Murray
  • Lower Lakes
  • Ecosystem management
  • Water quality


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