Drainage works under way

Friday 13 March, 2020
Works are almost complete on the Cornella Creek Drainage Course Declaration (DCD) near Colbinabbin.

The project, delivered by the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (GB CMA) and Goulburn Murray Water, has involved the removal of obstructions created by roads, a railway line and channels.

By restoring natural flows, excess water from rainfall events should now flow unimpeded into Gaynor Swamp.

Cobinabbin farmer Ramon Rathjen said the works would benefit the whole region, not just a handful of landholders.

“It’s a no brainer as far as I’m concerned. The depression has been there for forever and a day and it’s a good idea to take advantage of that to move the water off our properties.”

He said it could take several weeks for water to drain away after a flood event.

“The railway line and other obstructions just slow down the natural flow of the water. I’ve had situations where the water has lingered for days on end, which has a disastrous impact on pastures and crops.”

His neighbour John Avard also welcomed the works, after campaigning for many years for improved drainage.

 “We’ve talked about this for a long time so it’s pleasing to see it’s finally happening,” Mr Avard said.

He said he was supportive of the hybrid approach to drainage, which took advantage of the natural lay of the land.

“It’s about time we listened to Mother Nature. She will do a lot of work for us if we let her,” he said.

GB CMA Irrigation Manager Carl Walters said the Cornella Creek DCD involved significant environmental benefit.

“If we can restore Gaynor Swamp naturally instead of putting water in there artificially, that’s a great result.

“It’s an area that’s always suffered from a shallow water table created by waterlogging, so if we can alleviate the waterlogging that will help reduce the impact of salinity,” Mr Walters said.

He said the project represented great value for money with plenty achieved on a slim budget.

“We’ve got great bang for our buck. We’ve made a big difference by simply removing a few obstructions.”

He said landholders would now be able to farm with greater confidence as a result of the project.

Work will start soon on the Guilfus Congupna system, east of Congupna.