River

Volunteers play crucial role in fire recovery effort

Volunteers have been a huge help during fire recovery efforts after 3 significant fires that burnt almost 14,000 hectares of land in Stewarton, Boweya and Creighton’s Creek in the Goulburn Broken Catchment in mid-December 2014.

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) River Health Project Officer Geoff Brennan said recovery works had been underway since the fires were extinguished, and volunteers are playing an important role in the fire recovery process. 

“Fencing repair and replacement works started on the Broken River and Broken Creek in the Stewarton area soon after the fires, works commenced on the Boosey Creek and its tributaries in the Boweya area in mid-February, and the Creighton’s Creek fire recovery program got underway in early April, ” Mr Brennan said.

“With assistance from Uniting Church Volunteers, we have been able to repair more than 5.4 kilometres of fire damaged fencing and replace almost 2.9 kilometres of fencing that had been destroyed by the fires in the Stewarton area. 

“We were also able to commence the rehabilitation of the riparian zone by revegetating fire damaged areas with 1,900 indigenous trees and shrubs and 1,500 grasses and sedges.”  He said. 

Blaze Aid volunteers and Beechworth Prison works crews assisted with the replacement of more than 15 kilometres of fencing and helped repair almost 2 kilometres of fencing on the Boosey Creek and its tributaries in the Boweya area.

“The volunteers worked alongside the Woka Walla crew from Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation, who were engaged by the Goulburn Broken CMA to assist with fencing, and worked closely with fire affected landholders to re-instate fencing along the Boosey Creek and some of the smaller creeks in the area,” Mr Brennan said. 

Prisoners from Dhurringile helped repair or replace around 16 kilometres of fencing along the Creightons, Nine Mile, Bowronga and Ramages Creeks and their tributaries. 

“The volunteers have played a very important role and helped us replace or repair more than 40 kilometres of fire affected fencing on some of our priority waterways in just six months, which is an amazing effort,” said Mr Brennan.  “This has allowed landholders to manage stock grazing in these fragile riparian areas, and has resulted in the natural regeneration of native vegetation in the riparian zone.  The Creeks are protected and are well and truly on their way to recovering following the fires.”

This project is supported by the Goulburn Broken CMA through funding from the Victorian State Government.

For more information about the fire recovery program contact Geoff Brennan on 5764 7502 or 0407 357 354, or email geoffb@gbcma.vic.gov.au

Volunteers play a crucial role in fire recovery efforts