Project delivery: Mallee Catchment Management Authority

Targeted outcomes:

  • Environmental: Native vegetation, fish and fauna
  • Long-term monitoring site

Restoration works

Merbein Common is a floodplain reserve nestled in a bend of the Murray River. Located north-west of Mildura, the area has a series of nationally significant wetlands.

Shell middens

Merbein Common also has shell middens that evidence food gathering from the past. These middens provide important information on past Aboriginal ways of living.

The area has 3 main billabongs; Cowanna, Brickworks and Catfish. Cowanna Billabong is a freshwater lagoon and Brickworks Billabong is a saltwater lagoon. Catfish Billabong has freshwater near the Murray River but gets saltier near the floodplain.

This flagship waterways project shows the social and cultural benefits of this type of investment. It responds to strong community support for enhanced recreational values. This includes improving facilities for bushwalking, cycling and canoeing.

A group of bushwalkers are walking along the riverbank. They have two small dogs with them on a leash. Two of the bushwalkers are pointing out to a landmark on the other side of the river.
A Cowanna bushwalk.
Source: Mallee CMA

User and stakeholder surveys benchmarked a range of indicators. These indicators measured whether the investment had improved recreational access and visual amenity.

Eroded and restored riparian banks

Cowanna Bend cutting before (May 2016) and after works (July 2018). Stripped and eroded riparian banks were revegetated and mulched. Drainage installation prevented surface water runoff from continuing to erode the riverbank. A drip irrigation system supports revegetation and manages variability in rainfall.

There’s nothing common about the Merbein Common video

The local community and government celebrated the Merbein Common project in December 2020.

Watch the video by visiting the Mallee CMA Facebook page

Page last updated: 09/09/23