Emu

Facelift for Ford Creek

Tuesday 8 February, 2005
Thanks to the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (GB CMA), Ford Creek has been subject to more cosmetic surgery than a Hollywood celebrity in recent years. Unlike the plastic alternative, this surgery isn’t just about  keeping up appearances – it will lead to long term improvements in water quality and biodiversity.
Thanks to the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (GB CMA), Ford Creek has been subject to more cosmetic surgery than a Hollywood celebrity in recent years. Unlike the plastic alternative, this surgery isn’t just about  keeping up appearances – it will lead to long term improvements in water quality and biodiversity.

 

 

Once home to a diverse range of  native plants and animals, over the last 60 to 100 years Ford Creek’s banks have been cleared and then lined with introduced exotic trees and shrubs such as Basket Willow, Hawthorn, Silver poplar and False or Prickly Acacia. These species are renowned for dumping their foliage in the stream and “sucking the oxygen out of the water”, undermining  water quality and  making the creek environment unsuitable for many native species.

 

 

Joanne Gaudion, Waterways Vegetation Officer at the GB CMA, became aware of the problem when she viewed aerial photography that displayed the condition of Ford Creek. “I actually approached a landholder about another section (of Ford Creek) which was totally bare of vegetation, and she directed me towards the area where the willows were becoming a real problem,” says Joanne.  “Basically, we had her support to do that area, and once we had the support of landholders on the other side of the creek, we were able to start.”

 

 

Joanne and the team then began a detailed process that involved poisoning  and removing the Willows, building 1.4 km of new fencing to keep stock out, and spraying the site in preparation for revegetation and planting of seedlings.

 

 

In total, 1670 native  seedlings were supplied, including River Red Gum, Swamp Gum, Yellow Box and Varnish Wattle. Joanne helped supervise planting 920 of the seedlings with what she describes as “the kind and enthusiastic assistance” of Mansfield Primary School’s grades 4, 5 and 6. Other  landholders planted their sections with assistance from CMA works officers.

 

 

Jo, said the cost of such a fencing and revegetation program is high but the GB CMA generally picks up 40 to 50 per cent of the cost depending on factors such as the value of the stream as habitat and the presence of  Willows, a high priority for removal by the CMA.

 

 

Jo said  water quality had dramatically improved  as a result of keeping stock fenced out of the creek, but it will take longer for birds and other wildlife to return to the creek. In the meantime, another stream (Black Creek) on the same property is undergoing similar revegetation works.

 

 

Fencing and revegetation works are offered by the GB CMA as part of the Goulburn Broken Waterway Grants Program. For more information contact the CMA on 5797 2001 or visit  www.gbcma.vic.gov.au.

 

Release ends

 

 

For more information telephone Jo Gaudion on 57 97 2001.