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These wetlands are on the Country of the Yorta Yorta People, whose knowledge and practice are evident throughout the landscape; for example, Black Swamp has evidence of old cooking mounds around its perimeter. Kinnairds Wetland and Black Swamp are red gum swamps near Numurkah. Moodie Swamp is a cane grass wetland adjacent to upper Broken Creek at Waggarandall that provides excellent breeding habitat for brolga.

The water regimes of these wetlands are influenced by their position in the landscape. The development and operation of the Shepparton and Murray Valley irrigation districts have changed the natural flow paths and the timing, frequency, volume and duration of natural flooding to these and other wetlands in the region. The existing irrigation system infrastructure enables water for the environment to be delivered to the three nominated wetlands, but under existing agreements, irrigation deliveries have priority within the channel system. This limits the volume of water that can be delivered to the wetlands. The VEWH, waterway managers and storage managers adjust the timing and rate of environmental deliveries where possible to optimise environmental outcomes within the current system constraints.

Proportion of water entitlements in the Broken system held by private users, water corporations and environmental water holders on 30 June 2020

Traditional Owners
Storage manager
Environmental water holder

System map

Environmental watering objectives in the Broken wetlands

Plant icon
Maintain or improve the cover, diversity, recruitment/regeneration and growth of native wetland plant species, consistent with ecological vegetation class benchmarks.
Reduce the cover and diversity of exotic plant species.
Maintain populations of rigid water-milfoil
bird icon
Provide breeding habitat for waterbirds

Provide feeding and roosting habitat for waterbirds
Frog icon
Provide breeding habitat for frogs

Environmental values

Moodie Swamp, Kinnairds Wetland and Black Swamp support a great diversity of vegetation communities ranging from river red gum to cane grass. The wetlands contain state- and nationally-threatened vegetation communities and species, including ridged water-milfoil and river swamp wallaby grass. The wetlands also provide food resources and breeding habitat for bird species of high conservation significance, including eastern great egret, Latham’s snipe, white-bellied sea eagle, Australasian bittern, brolga, royal spoonbill, yellow-billed spoonbill, Australasian shoveler and glossy ibis. Many of these species are listed in international agreements and conventions.

Traditional Owner cultural values and uses

Moodie Swamp, Kinnairds Wetland and Black Swamp support various native plants and animals that provide many cultural values and uses for the Yorta Yorta People. Black Swamp and Kinnairds Wetland support multiple varieties of nardoo (a food source), native grasses (such as old man weed and sneezeweed, which have medicinal uses) and sedges and rushes (used for basket weaving). Basket weaving sedges also grow at Moodie Swamp.

Each year, the Goulburn Broken CMA meets with the Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation about the management of water for the environment in the Broken system, including the Broken wetlands. The Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation is also a member of the Broken Environmental Water Advisory Group, which meets with the CMA two or three times a year. The Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation supports the planned drying of Moodie Swamp, Kinnairds Wetland and Black Swamp in 2023-24.

Social, recreational and economic values and uses

In planning the potential environmental watering actions in Table 5.5.5, the Goulburn Broken CMA considered how environmental flows could support values and uses, including:

  • water-based recreation (such as canoeing)
  • riverside recreation and amenity (such as birdwatching, camping, picnicking, photography, walking and hunting)
  • community events and tourism (such as community gatherings at Kinnairds Wetland and the Walk and Squawk event)
  • socioeconomic benefits (such as tourism, which is a large contributor to the local economy).

Scope of environmental watering

The term ‘environmental watering’ refers to the active delivery of held environmental water to support particular environmental objectives by altering the flow in a river or the water level in a wetland. While other terms are sometimes used to describe the delivery of environmental water, ‘environmental watering’ is deliberately used here and in seasonal watering statements to ensure consistency in the legal instruments that authorise the use of water for the environment in Victoria.

Table 5.5.5 describes the potential environmental watering actions in 2023-24, their expected watering effect (that is, the intended physical or biological effects of the watering action) and the longer-term environmental objectives they support. Each environmental objective relies on one or more potential environmental watering actions and their associated physical or biological effects.

Table 5.5.5 Potential environmental watering actions, expected watering effects and associated environmental objectives for the Broken wetlands

Potential environmental watering action

Expected watering effects

Environmental objectives

* No deliveries of water for the environment are planned in 2023-24

Page last updated: 01/07/22