[On-screen text: Riparian land runs alongside rivers, creeks and wetlands]

[Katie James, a landholder from Toora North speaking: When we first arrived, this was all a tangle of wood all of the riparian areas of the property so we decided to get rid of it.]

[On-screen text: The willow removal on Katie's farm was one of the many projects undertaken as part of the Regional Riparian Action Plan. The plan aims to protect and improve riparian land in Victoria. The Victorian Government is investing $40 million dollars for riparian works. There's a whole river of stories. This is just one.]

[Katie James:  Next thing, we knew an excavator that looks like a brontosaurus is trundling down our driveway through the forest and over the course of 4 days they ripped out every willow tree and we had all of a sudden these cleared gullies. And somehow  the expert excavator had plucked his way around tree ferns and black woods, and all the natives that he could to pile up this will into 22 piles  each about the size of small house. So, that is how much willow was along a 300 metre creek.]

[Matt Bolwer, Project delivery team leader, West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority speaking: Ben and Katie are one landholder you know, there might be hundreds of landholders along the Agnes and it's tributaries. We are able to help those landholders to do their individual work, but we have a vision of connecting all that up. So all the way down to Corner Inlet, which is an asset that we have down the bottom, which everyone the community sort of spends time on and benefits from. So for us the Riparian Action Plan is some funding that we can use to continue the great work that we've done here on the  Agnes over the last couple of decades. And what we really want to do is protect these waterways and keep them the way they are.]

[Katie James: So after excavating the Willow and burning those piles, we kind of had a blank slate. And but our passion was ignited for biodiversity.]

[On-screen text: Katie and her family have begun to revegetate the riparian areas of their farm with species that were abundant before the willows took over.]

[Katie James: For the sake of the future of the planet, we decided to do on a small scale what we think our children and their generation will be responsible for on a massive global scale.]

[Young child: We plant the trees and then the insects come then, the frogs come to eat the insects. Then snakes come to eat the frogs and then the birds of prey comes to eat the snakes.]

[Katie James: It's really important because this creek flows into Agnes river, which flows into Corner Inlet. And so we're directly affecting the health of corner Inlet by ensuring that our creeks healthy. Once you've got a healthy vibrant waterway,  the rest of the health kind of follows.]

[On-screen text: This work is happening all over Victoria.  It is funded by the Victorian Government's record $222 million investment into waterway and catchment health.]

Page last updated: 22/11/23