Local landholders are praising works of the CMA

Tuesday 26 August, 2008
Landholders in the Upper Goulburn region are praising the conservation management works of the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (GB CMA).
Landholders in the Upper Goulburn region are praising the conservation management works of the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (GB CMA).

The GB CMA has been undertaking in-stream habitat and riparian enhancement works along the Goulburn River between Alexandra and Eildon and the lower reach of the Rubicon River over the past few months to improve river health.

These works are part of a GB CMA project funded through Round Five of the previous Commonwealth Government's Recreational Fishing Community Grants Program, to improve recreational fisheries for anglers.

The Commonwealth's funding was matched with $127,000 from the Victorian Recreational Fishing Grants Program which invests fishing licence fees to improve angling opportunities.

Local landowner and artist Ern Trenbath said the revegetation works undertaken by the GB CMA along the Rubicon River will result in an increase in wildlife and a more natural and attractive environment.

"I have been painting the river for almost 50 years and now that the GB CMA has removed the exotic willows from the Rubicon River I can now paint there again."

"I wouldn't paint that landscape because I only paint native Australian flora and fauna. I believe the willows kill the rivers, making it hard for wildlife and indigenous plants to survive."

Mr Trenbath went on to say that the willows didn't provide food for wildlife and the stock formerly accessing the river were damaging the banks. The CMA fencing and revegetation works has meant that stock are no longer upsetting the banks and polluting the water.

"I plan to utilize the natural, picturesque landscape of the Australian natives as they establish and are happy with the work the GB CMA have been doing."

Christine Glassford Upper Goulburn Waterways Team Leader at the GB CMA said works were recently undertaken at Thornton Beach, visible upstream and downstream of the Back Eildon Road bridge in Thornton.

"Adjoining landholders have been very supportive of the works and have approved of the GB CMAs placement of stiles and walkways along their boundary fence to facilitate public access along the bank adjoining their properties.

"Some of the works have included willows being removed from river banks, revegetation, boulder seeding and construction of a rock groyne," said Ms Glassford.

Ms Glassford went on to say that willows have a negative impact on stream health with encroachment of stream channel and competition with native plant species. The willows at Thornton were also causing danger to canoeists on the water and potential damage to large vehicles passing under the overhanging limbs when crossing the bridge.

"The removed willows have been temporarily piled on one bank to be burnt as soon as the water logged timber dries out sufficiently."

Ms Glassford said that some revegetation works have been undertaken on the downstream bank of the Thornton side of the bridge following willow removal.

"The placement of large boulders upstream and downstream of the Thornton Bridge has created diversity in flow, with eddies for aquatic life to take refuge from the stream flow. In addition, water rats and birds have already started using these boulders as platforms to rest and feed upon."

"A rock groyne has also been constructed on the upstream bank of the bridge (town side) to help narrow stream channel and deflect water flow away from the bank where erosion was starting to occur. A backwater pool is formed behind the groyne where small fish and aquatic plants can shelter."

Ms Glassford finally said that the GB CMA is very grateful for the support and understanding of local landholders and would also like to thank the Murrindindi Shire with management of traffic while removing the largest willow near the road. The site works undertaken should be considered works in progress, with the requirement of a little time to achieve a sustainable and attractive river ecosystem.

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For more information please contact

Christine Glassford at GB CMA on 0419567461
Stacey Brauman at Impress Publicity on 0400 644 637