The Government delivered an additional $10 million over 2015-16 and 2016-17 to accelerate on ground works to improve the condition of riparian land across regional Victoria. Funding has been provided to the nine regional Catchment Management Authorities to work with communities to achieve this goal. Typical riparian works include fencing to manage stock, weed management and revegetation programs. The initiative is assisting to implement the Regional Riparian Action Plan which was launched in December 2015.
Total EC3 investment: $10.0 m
2015-16 expenditure: $8.78 m
2016-17 expenditure: $1.22 m
In 2015-16 the Wimmera CMA developed 33 management agreements with landholders along high priority waterways identified in the Wimmera Waterway Strategy and the Regional Riparian Action Plan including the Wimmera River, Yarriambiack, Concongella and Mount William creeks. These management agreements protected and enhanced riparian areas through 240 hectares of pest animal control, 1189 hectares of pest plant control, 43 kilometres of fencing and 22 hectares of indigenous revegetation. Another 80 landholders who expressed interest in undertaking riparian programs were contacted by a facilitator to discuss their project and potential management actions in future years.
In 2016-17 Wimmera CMA assisted landholders in protecting and enhancing high priority reaches on their properties via an incentive program which produced 24 management agreements. This commitment from local landholders to support environmental programs resulted in protecting and enhancing 127 hectares of riparian area with 20 km of fencing and 73 hectares of indigenous revegetation.
In 2015-16 weed control works were undertaken by the East Gippsland CMA in a number of priority waterways across the catchment, including weed control on the Genoa River, willow control along the Snowy River, native revegetation on the Buchan River and willow control and revegetation along the Dargo River in conjunction with Dargo Landcare group and local landholders. New equipment for poplar removal was used very successfully for the first time, with the community being well informed and supportive of the project.
Rehabilitation works on the Cann and Combienbar rivers have been finalised with establishment of new revegetation sites to complement willow control. These programs will also accelerate the growth of native vegetation, creating more resilient waterways.
The CMA also had increasing success with landholder engagement with more landholders expressing interest in the riparian programs. Overall the CMA has undertaken 660 metres of fencing, finalised one management agreement and undertaken 311 hectares of riparian land enhancement through weed control and native revegetation.
In 2016-17, 50 hectares of weed control works were undertaken by the CMA in partnership with the Moogji Aboriginal works crew along the Snowy River. The CMA in conjunction with the Dargo Landcare Group also established 38 hectares of native re-vegetation on the Combeinbar and Dargo Rivers, which included the group planting 500 plants along Gradys Creek.
In 2015-16 West Gippsland CMA undertook a range of riparian actions including fencing, off-stream water storage, revegetation with indigenous plants and weed control. There was considerable emphasis on willow control works including:
- control of a heavy in-stream willow infestation on the Upper Morwell River East Branch;
- completion of remote willow control on the Upper Middle Creek, which helps to eliminate the source of willows to the downstream priority reaches in the catchment;
- work crews kayaking along 28 kilometres of the Latrobe River, mapping willows and stem poisoning those on public land;
- work crews traversing 133.5 kilometres through the Upper Avon River (the Avon Wilderness Area) undertaking willow control;
- helicopter based willow mapping, indicating there is very little willow presence upstream of these controlled infestations.
Four management agreements have been signed throughout the region, with one site along Perry River Estuary which is of particular significance for the chain of ponds river formation. On the lower Latrobe, 1.6 km of fencing has protected 2.3 km of river with willow removal and revegetation ready to take place in spring 2016. The CMA has also successfully established works in partnership with Landcare networks.
Overall the CMA established seven off-stream water storage troughs, 7.5 km of riparian fencing, over 83 hectares of willow control, and negotiated four management agreements with landholders.
In 2016-17 West Gippsland CMA completed further on-ground waterway restoration works along the beautiful Agnes River. This included 4.5 hectares of revegetation, 7 hectares of remnant vegetation protected, and fencing and weed control (willow and blackberry) along 4 km. A positive outcome from the on-ground works component of the project was the strong landholder engagement and support received. The CMA was also able to strengthen partnerships between a range of organisations that operate in the Agnes River catchment, including DEDJTR, South Gippsland Landcare Network, GippsDairy, and South Gippsland Water through their efforts to improve the quality of water entering Toora’s town water supply and the Corner Inlet Ramsar site.
In 2015-16, the North East CMA undertook planning for Lake Omeo and The Morrass (important wetland systems comprising a number of environmental, social and economic values that are compromised by a series of threats), prioritised work to strengthen community knowledge, and identified key values and threats and developed a prioritised series of improvement actions. In addition, works to improve the riparian condition and the geomorphic stability of the Upper Ovens were undertaken. For instance, the Mitta Mitta Heritage River had 80 hectares of weed control targeting willow, sycamore, English Broom and blackberries. The CMA is working with a range of stakeholders (landholders, Landcare, community) to increase community engagement through the publication of community memories of waterways. Overall the CMA established two landholder agreements and undertook 91.4 hectares of weed control.
In 2016-17, North East CMA - in partnership with Parklands Albury Wodonga - has undertaken waterway improvement works on this site, located on the new urban fringe of Wodonga. Through this partnership, the CMA has been able to see 162 hectares of woody weed controlled in this streamside riparian area that is popular with the local community.
In the North Central CMA in 2015-16, riparian works funded through the riparian initiative were prioritised through two projects, the Native Fish Recovery Plan and the North Central Priority Waterways project. The Native Fish Recovery Plan project guides priority areas for fencing, weed control and revegetation. Riparian fencing and off-stream watering has been installed within the project area. Relationships have been established with local Landcare and Traditional Owner groups. Five off-stream water points were established, 14 km of fencing installed and 50 hectares of weed control undertaken.
The North Central Priority Waterways project focused on the upper Coliban catchment, Birch's creek in the Upper Loddon, and the Avon-Richardson River. The broad stakeholder engagement and ownership by community has been a key achievement of the project. Over 13 km of fences have been installed, alongside 13 off-stream watering systems and 90 hectares of pest weed removal (mainly willows and blackberries) and revegetation.
In 2015-16 the Mallee CMA worked across the Mallee to support riparian projects, including natural regeneration of riparian areas. Good community support and involvement has enabled projects at Merbein Common, Lake Hawthorn and Abbotsford Bend to be achieved. Works on riparian land used innovative techniques that were sensitive to indigenous cultural values. Works have been undertaken throughout the CMA to install nearly 6 km of fencing, 1231 hectares of pest weed control and animal pest control (for the most part feral pigs), and development of five management agreements to protect and enhance riparian areas.
In 2016-17, Mallee CMA worked in partnership with the Millewa Carwarp Landcare Group and the Traditional Owners of the area (which is west of Mildura), to manage a significant pest issue in a culturally sensitive manner along the area’s priority waterways. This partnership delivered a higher than expected output for the project. Mallee CMA delivered works that protected and enhanced 1000 hectares of riparian land – this included 428 hectares of woody weed control delivered in consultation with Traditional Owners.
In 2015-16 the Goulburn Broken CMA delivered a range of direct on ground riparian improvement actions as well as working with frontage managers and the broader community to improve the understanding of, and management of, riparian areas. Key achievements include 7 km of fencing as part of the Strathbogies Streams project (including protecting areas along the Pranjip, Middle, Honeysuckle, Sevens and Hughes Creeks). Willows and poplars have been removed across over 20 km of stream frontage. Over 21 hectares of revegetation was complete along the Hughes, Merton, Godfreys, Seven, UT, Sunday and Sugarloaf Creeks. Additional work has been undertaken with Landcare projects to undertake fencing, revegetation (direct seeding of local understory species and hand planting eucalypts) and engaging the farming community through education and financial incentives.
In 2015-16 Corangamite CMA focused on the development and adoption of a new waterway site assessment / evaluation process to increase the rigour of investment prioritisation and deliver increased waterway management outcomes.
Expenditure was largely associated with detailed planning, promotion, landholder engagement, stakeholder engagement (Landcare), site evaluations, development of management plans / proposals and proposal assessments. There has been strong interest and participation from landholders (130 expressions of interests) with in excess of 750 hectares and 120 km of waterway frontage length undergoing ecological assessments with associated management plans being developed. Significant on ground works will commence following the execution of these management plan contacts.
In 2016-17, the most significant project delivered was situated on Gosling Creek (within the Upper Barwon Water Supply Catchment) covering an area of 83 hectares with waterway frontage of 26 km. Upon completion, this project will result in protection of the entire headwaters of Gosling Creek, as the adjacent area is within the Greater Otway National Park. Waterway improvement works at this project have included: establishment of 3.3 km of new fencing; revegetation of 1.8 hectares and preparation of an additional 2 hectares for spring planting; and weed control of blackberries (12.3 ha over 2,606 m of waterway) and willows (580 m of waterway).
In 2015-16 the Glenelg Hopkins CMA worked to support landholders and community groups across the following priority waterways: Hopkins River, Grace Burn Creek, Fiery Creek and Merri River (Warrnambool). Nearly 250 hectares of woody weeds have been removed across these waterways, in one instance with the support of a recreational fishing club to increase access on the Grace Burn.
High landholder participation rates and new management agreements resulted in high connectivity of waterway protection projects with many gaps in the extent of fenced waterway being closed. Over 60 km of fencing was undertaken. Site preparation for revegetation was undertaken with planting planned for late winter / early spring 2016.
Crown land waterway frontage – compliance project
A portion of the 2016-17 funding was also allocated to the Crown water frontage compliance team in DELWP’s Intelligence & Investigations Unit. This team worked with regional DELWP staff and CMAs to investigate breaches by private landholders of Crown water frontage licence conditions, at locations along the Murray River, Gunbower Creek and Thowgla Creek. Typical breaches investigated included illegal structures, storage of materials and equipment, rubbish dumping, illegal tracks, irrigation run off and vegetation clearing on Crown frontages. This has resulted in rectification of breaches and improvement in water frontage conditions at these locations.
Page last updated: 24/05/19