The first stage in the willow removal at Barwon Water's Bolwarra Wier has been completed.
An extensive willow infestation at the top of the wier has been removed and burnt onsite. Any regrowth with be dealt with over the coming months before further works commencing later in the year.
Funded by Barwon Water's Living Moorabool contribution and overseen by the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority the project will see the restoration of native species to the site and the introduction of walkways for the public.
Images courtesy of the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority.
While it may have taken a while it is really refreshing to have Barwon Water stepping up and taking ownership of weed management on sites like these. The willows here would have been contributiing to infestation downstream of the weir for decades.
There will obviously be a need for long term management of the site by Barwon Water have indicted a management plan is being formulated across all their sites, Bolwarra Weir included.
A thank you also goes to the CCMA for project managing the works. It is alway good to see funding directed to making a real difference on the ground.
PALM would like to acknowledge and applaud a focus on the Moorabool River by the Koala Clancy Foundation.
The article speaks to the importance of river red gums in supporting koala populations during heatwaves and times of drought.
The Geelong Times has run a front page story on PALM's call for better monitoring of catchment dams within the Moorabool River Catchment.
The catchment has one of the highest ratio of total private dam capacity compared to inflows in Victoria. The volume is equal to that held by Barwon Water's West Barwon Dam in the Otways.
Private dam development is accelerating putting further strain on the State's most flow stressed river. Without better controls, monitoring and compliance the growth in such dams will further erode small gains in environmental flows that have been secured for the river.
PALM is currently finalising a study looking at the last decade of dam growth which it hopes will inform the following action within the latest Central and Gippsland Region Sustainable Water Strategy
Action 4-13: Review of water resource risks in small, dry, peri-urban catchments
Southern Rural Water will lead a project over two years to review resource risk and share evidence and reporting to build a shared understanding with communities on the risks, consequences and mitigation options we can use to address the increasing effects of small catchment dams.
This project will focus on the upper Maribyrnong and upper Moorabool catchments (including tributaries) as identified hotspots, but recommendations from this review may be relevant to other catchments.
The online version of the article can be found here:
PALM welcomes the recent annoucement from DELWP of planning scheme amendment VC 201 designed to give better protection to rivers like the Moorabool. How significant these changes will be remains to be seen but they should assist advocacy groups like PALM who have had to work hard to protect the river and its flood plains from developer excesses.
Stronger planning policies and landscape controls to protect the Rivers of the Barwon, Waterways of the West and rivers and creeks across Victoria
Waterways, lakes, wetlands and billabongs are vital features of Victoria’s diverse landscape. They sustain ecosystems and communities while providing the opportunity for us to connect with nature, relax and play. These environmental assets also have significant ecological, cultural, social and landscape significance.
Gazetted on 16 December 2022, Planning Scheme Amendment VC201 delivers stronger recognition and protection for our waterways, lakes, wetlands and billabongs. It aims to improve waterway health, amenity and access while acknowledging the important community and cultural values associated with waterways.
Amendment VC201 provides a substantial acknowledgement of Traditional Owner values and custodianship of waterways. It recognises the importance of protecting the living cultural values and heritage relating to waterway systems.
Now included in the Planning Scheme is the following:
Rivers of the Barwon
To maintain and enhance the natural landscape, biodiversity, cultural and social values, and the
Traditional Owner living cultural heritage values of the Rivers of the Barwon, comprising the
Barwon (Parwan), Leigh (Waywatcurtan), Moorabool (Mooroobull) and Yarrowee (Yarowee)
Rivers, their tributaries and wetlands.
Protect places of living cultural heritage value to the region’s Traditional Owners including the
confluences of the Leigh, Barwon and Moorabool Rivers, Lal Lal Falls and the Lake Connewarre
Protect and enhance the environmental qualities and landscape values of the headwaters of the
Barwon, Yarrowee and Moorabool Rivers and the tributaries of the Rivers of the Barwon.
Protect and enhance wetlands and significant waterbodies including Lake Gherang, Wurdiboluc
Reservoir, Lake Modewarre, Lake Thurrumbong, Lake Ayrey, West Barwon Dam, and Ramsar
Convention listed Lake Connewarre, Reedy Lake and Hospital Swamp from development that
threatens their ability to support terrestrial, aquatic and avian species.
Protect views of significant landscapes including gorges and waterfalls along the Moorabool River,
including the Lal Lal Falls, the steep escarpments and falls of the Barwon River, the open rural
scenery of the Leigh and Yarrowee Rivers and the expansive and open wetlands of the Lake
Balance the protection and restoration of the Rivers of the Barwon with planned urban growth and
Design and site development in urban growth areas with river frontage to provide opportunities
for waterway access, activation, and conservation.
Encourage development to create links between open space corridors along the rivers with activity
centres including Geelong and Ballarat.
Protect and prioritise movement and green linkages and public access to the river along river
corridors including the Wallaby Track in Ballarat, River Track in Inverleigh, and Barwon River
Trail in Geelong.
Protect and enhance existing and proposed parklands along the Barwon, Leigh, Moorabool and
Monday 5th September 2022
People for A Living Moorabool welcomed the release of the Central and Gippsland Sustainable Water Strategy announced by the Premier Daniel Andrews and Water Minister Harriet Shing today.
“This has been a long process but one which will hopefully relieve some of the stresses on the Moorabool River.” PALM’s coordinator Cameron Steele said today.
The Strategy is a high-level document providing plans for Victoria’s water future. It contains actions which will directly impact Victoria’s most flow stressed river.
“These are absolutely vital measures to help a river which has lost a further 20% of its inflows due to climate change over the last 15 years” Mr Steele said. “It really is a race against time to halt the decline of this magnificent river and it is heartening to finally have that urgency recognised by both Government and our water authorities. But it is still a long way from the 17,000ML required to secure a healthy future for this river.”
An upgrade of the Melbourne Geelong Pipeline will see the long-term average equivalent of 3000ML of water transferred from Barwon Water’s share of the Lal Lal Reservoir . A further 700ML from the Bostock Reservoir will assist the East Moorabool in a shared arrangement with the Wadawurrung and the environment.
Other measures announced include a study into the impact of small catchment dams in the Moorabool and Maribyrnong rivers. The Moorabool River Catchment has one of the highest volumes of water impounded in farm and commercial dams compared to its inflows and this has a direct impact on the health of the river.
“We have seen a dramatic acceleration in the construction of commercial and smaller catchment dams over the last three years eroding environmental flows gained for the river. This must be addressed otherwise we are simply giving with one hand and taking with another, something which is utterly unsustainable.” Mr Steele said.
An investigation into the rewatering of a Durdidwarrah wetland in the Brisbane Ranges NP was also included. PALM would like to acknowledge the efforts of Wadawurrung man Barry Gilson in helping to secure this action.
Link to Premier’s release:
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