Constraints Management Strategy

As part of the Basin Plan, the Victorian Government contracted the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority to lead regional input (community engagement and technical studies) into the development of the Goulburn River Constraints Management Business Case between May 2015 and February 2016.

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Table of Contents

Business case

Environmental flows are released down rivers to improve the health of fish, wetlands, forests, water bugs and birds. However, environmental flows are limited or ‘constrained’ by their potential impact on private property, businesses and infrastructure bordering rivers.

Following the completion of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in 2012, the MDBA was requested to develop a Constraints Management Strategy to explore how the plan could deliver better environmental outcomes by allowing some overbank environmental flows.  

In 2014 the MDBA completed the first phase (Phase 1) of the Constraints Management Strategy – the prefeasibility phase. The strategy identified and described the key physical, operational and management constraints to the delivery of environmental flows in seven focus areas including the Goulburn River, and the cost of addressing these constraints. Following the completion of the prefeasibility phase, Basin Governments decided that each focus area should develop a business case for addressing environmental flow constraints (Phase 2).

As part of the Basin Plan, the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (on behalf of the Victorian Government) and with the support of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority developed a business case for the Goulburn River. The business case assessed:

  • the feasibility of delivering a range of flows along the river to inundate the lower Goulburn River floodplain;
  • what land, businesses and infrastructure could be affected by those flows; and
  • the options to mitigate or offset impacts and their cost.

A copy of the business case is available here.

For further information on the business case, and next steps for this proposal, please contact:        
Department of Environment, Land , Water and Planning
PO Box 500, Melbourne VIC 8002
Ph: 136 186 or visit: www.delwp.vic.gov.au

Presentations from the January 2016 community sessions are available here (GB CMA) and here (GHD).

A report summarising the feedback  from the January community sessions is available here.

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Feedback and Questions

If you have any feedback or questions concerning the Goulburn River Constraints Business Case please click on the link below.

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How to Get Involved

Open house sessions and community meetings were held along the Goulburn River during August 2015 and January 2016.

We did not engage with every landholder along the river during this period; this will occur during the next phase of the work if it goes ahead.

 The Goulburn River Constraints Business Case was  developed in consultation with three regional advisory groups. The regional advisory groups were comprised of local residents and business owners. A summary of regional advisory group minutes will be made available once approved for publication.

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Reports and Publications

Work approved for publication and completed on the Goulburn River Constraints Business Case, is summarised below and associated reports and publications are available for viewing and downloading.

Flow Footprints

To help the community’s understanding of flood models, interactive maps have been produced to show the extent of inundation of flows currently being considered.  The earlier floodplain inundation mapping done by the MDBA has generally been improved through more detailed modelling. This allows a better understanding of the impacts of potential increased overbank flows on private and public land and assets. Interactive maps have been created to show an estimate of the land that could be inundated at any point along the river at the chosen rate of flow in the river at that point. Importantly, the flow at any point is the total flow and includes flow from upstream tributaries and/or reservoir releases.

 Zoom in on the map below to see detail of the estimated inundated area. 

 If you have any comments or questions on the flow footprints, go to the Feedback and Questions area of the website.

 Flood Characterisation Report

 One key element considered as part of a possible Goulburn River Constraints Business Case was to increase existing flow events at Shepparton by reducing diversions from Goulburn Weir to Waranga Basin and/or by increasing releases from Lake Eildon. This report looks at 132 actual flow events since 1960 to gain an understanding of the characteristics of those events, to provide a basis for considering how to add water to some of those events. The next step will be to use this information to look at potential release strategies and their effectiveness.

Click here to view the reports for 2015

 Lower Goulburn Levee Outlet Structures – Cost Estimate to Upgrade Report

 If increased overbank flows are to be provided in the lower Goulburn River, the current 5 outlet structures could need to be upgraded to contain environmental water inside the levees. These reports look at the current condition of each structure, and at the cost of the work required to upgrade each structure to withhold a flow up to 55,000 ML/day in the Goulburn River. This flow was used to define the maximum cost, with lower flows requiring less cost.

Click here to view the reports for 2015

Goulburn Constraints Management Project - Regulatory Approvals Strategy

If the Goulburn Constraints Management Project was to proceed, it would involve a range of activities and works requiring approval under Commonwealth and State legislation. This strategy identifies the approvals, permits and licences likely to be required, as well as the supporting documentation to be prepared.

Click here to view the reports for 2015

More reports and publications relevant to the Goulburn River Constraints Business Case are listed and can be viewed and downloaded from the link below:

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Further Related Links

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Flow Foot Print Areas: Goulburn River - Lake Eildon to Murray

The interactive map below that shows flow foot print areas for environmental watering between 7,000 and 55,000 ML/d. This information is based modelling carried out in 2010 and 2015.

Open Larger Map

Note Loch Garry and other outlet structures within the lower Goulburn levees are closed for modelled environmental flow events.

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