$5 million to transform the River Torrens in the CBD

Monday 15 November 2021
$5 million to transform the River Torrens in the CBD


The River Torrens in Adelaide’s CBD is set to be reinvigorated with more wetlands and plantings to create a cooler, greener and wilder attraction for locals and visitors – in the heart of the city.

The new $5 million Transforming the Torrens Program will be delivered over the next four years by Green Adelaide in partnership with the City of Adelaide with sites to be selected on ecological and amenity values.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the program will establish a series of wetlands and revegetate areas along a 3-kilometre section of the River Torrens in the CBD between the Torrens Weir and Hackney Bridge.

“The program is about bringing nature right into the heart of the city, and it will also help further improve water quality along the river, particularly in Torrens Lake, with more native plants and a series of wetland habitats,” Minister Speirs said.

“The transformation will enhance the greening and cooling of the area, create more spaces for people to enjoy and reinvigorate the natural features and habitat for our local wildlife.

“This investment would create a more appealing area and complement the significant private and public investment in transforming the riverbank precinct in recent years.

“This $5 million program is another way Green Adelaide is delivering on-ground environmental action, and is a contribution to Adelaide’s push to become an internationally-known National Park City.

“Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been proud to showcase South Australia’s climate credentials on the world stage during the United Nations Conference on Climate Change and it’s innovative projects like this which show why we are a national leader in this space.”

Member for Adelaide Rachel Sanderson said the $5 million Transforming the Torrens Program will improve the health of the river and encourage more people to visit.

“Adelaide has been recognised as the most liveable city in Australia and third most liveable in the world and projects like this will further enhance this reputation,” Ms Sanderson said.

“The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to making Adelaide a greener, cooler and more vibrant place to live and work and this $5 million Transforming the Torrens Program as well as the $5 million greening projects we announced last week will do just that.”

City of Adelaide Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor said this is an important investment in one of the city’s greatest assets.

“Everyday thousands of people walk, run or cycle along this iconic stretch of the River Torrens / Karrawirra Pari and this $5 million commitment will help make this part of the city even more beautiful,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The Transforming the Torrens Program will improve the ecological health, water quality and amenity of the Torrens Lake, while providing educational, social, cultural and tourism benefits for the Riverbank Precinct.

“This area is extremely significant to the traditional owners of the Adelaide Plains, the Kaurna people, so increasing the natural features of Karrawirra Pari with native vegetation and attracting local wildlife is another important step towards reconciliation.”

Green Adelaide Board Presiding Member Professor Chris Daniels said that the Transforming the Torrens Program will help create a cooler, greener and wilder city and complement our scoping study that is exploring the reintroduction of platypus to the Torrens.

“The River Torrens has come a long way, and with today’s improved native vegetation and water quality this new program will help fast-track the Torren’s health in the CBD, and pave the way for the future dream of having platypus in the Torrens,” Professor Daniels said.

“The vision of having a viable platypus population is an exciting goal in continuing the improvement of the River Torrens that we all love so much.”

The planning for the Transforming the Torrens Program is expected to begin from early 2022, with on-ground action to start from late-2022.