30-year Barwon River plan released

The Barwon River. (Supplied)

Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CMA) has released its plans for the management and protection of the Barwon River for the next three decades.

The Barwon Flagship Waterway Management Plan will guide the delivery of the Barwon Flagship project, a large-scale rehabilitation project aiming to improve waterway and riverside health in the Barwon Catchment.

The plan sets out the activities, outcomes, roles and responsibilities required to maintain health of the river system

Begun in 2021 as a result of the Victorian government’s statewide investment of $248 million and the delivery of the Rivers of the Barwon Action Plan, the Barwon Flagship Waterway Project will be delivered over 30 years, with the focus on the Upper Barwon during the initial stages.

Its objectives concern effective riparian management, healthy river flow and community stewardship, with particular emphasis given to supporting both Traditional Owners and land managers such as farmers and community groups.

Corangamite CMA’s general manager of strategy and planning services Amy Leith said the priority on the Upper Barwon section was due to the impact of weeds such as willows and glyceria, which cause choke points along the river.

“These chokes inhibit water flow downstream and currently restrict our ability to deliver important environmental water releases to the Barwon River,” Ms Leith said.

“The Barwon River is important to both Traditional Owners and local communities. It is a critical drinking water supply catchment for the Geelong region, and it is an important ecosystem for diverse plant and animal species.

“By focusing on the upper river, we aim to improve waterway health and in the long term enable the delivery of an increased environmental water entitlement, ultimately leading to improvements to flow and health in the river downstream where it flows through Geelong and out to sea.

“Together we are working towards a well-connected, healthy and accessible river and wetland corridor that supports fish and platypus populations, a river that continues to be a treasured place for locals and visitors to enjoy now and into the future.”

Visit ccma.vic.gov.au/projects/barwon-flagship-waterway to view the Barwon Flagship Water Management Plan in full.