Fencing and revegetation works are taking place along the Campaspe River and Post Office Creek south of Kyneton to improve the water quality and catchment health.
Coliban Water Managing Director Damian Wells said the works were part of the organisation’s $2.1 million Kyneton Offsets Project, which started in April 2019.
“We are committed to long-term catchment health and have an important role in protecting river health for future generations while meeting the needs of our communities.
“Kyneton Offsets is a catchment health partnership project with the North Central Catchment Management Authority (CMA) and supports its successful Caring for the Campaspe project.
“We’re proud to be part of the Caring for the Campaspe project and confident Kyneton Offsets will have a positive impact on water quality and catchment health,” said Mr Wells.
North Central CMA Acting Chief Executive Officer Rohan Hogan said his team had been carrying out weed clearing, fencing and revegetation works on the Campaspe River since in 2012.
“Kyneton Offsets is a continuation of our work. We’ve worked with local landowners and community groups to establish offstream watering for livestock and have installed 12.8 kilometres of fencing to prevent livestock from entering the waterways, said Mr Hogan.
“Willow trees, blackberry, hawthorn and other weeds have been removed from 13.5 kilometres of river frontage on 12 properties and around 20,000 native trees and shrubs are being planted in their place.
“To ensure the success of the revegetation Coliban Water has committed to achieving an 80 per cent survival rate which involves replanting in spring and watering in summer over four years.
“The weed removal and revegetation works have been carried out by local contractors, Platypus Environmental Service and Djandak, a business enterprise owned by the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation,” said Mr Hogan.
Coliban Water has engaged an independent consultant, Professor Vincent Pettigrove, to monitor the impact the project has on water quality and catchment health.
Professor Pettigrove is Director of the Aquatic Environmental Stress (AQUEST) Research Group at RMIT and has been gathering data on the condition of the waterways over the last 12 months. The results of the monitoring program will be published in the New Year and updated regularly.
Mr Wells said the Kyneton Offsets Project was developed to improve water quality in the Campaspe River as part of an application to change the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria licence conditions for the Kyneton Water Reclamation Plant.
“We have listened to landowners and the Kyneton community and made a commitment not to proceed with our application to change our licence conditions. We are committed to delivering the Kyneton Offsets Project and upgrading our Kyneton Water Reclamation Plant.
“Last week we announced Phase One works to upgrade our plant and an agreement with Hardwick Meatworks.
“Hardwick’s are installing equipment to improve the quality of the wastewater it sends to our plant, and creating storage capacity for onsite irrigation with Class B treated water.
“We are committed to working with the community, landowners and the EPA to ensure the water released from our plant is beneficial to the waterways and the environment,” said Mr Wells.
A tree planting day for the Kyneton Offsets Project is being held with Grade 4 students from Woodend Primary School on Tuesday 15 October 2019.Last updated on 10 Oct 2019