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The central Murray wetlands are almost wholly contained within the Torrumbarry Irrigation Area and are all wetlands of regional or international significance. The area has experienced dramatic changes since European settlement with the construction of levees, roads and channels. Most of the wetlands are now cut off from natural flow paths and are rarely filled by natural floods. They rely on water for the environment to maintain their ecological character and health.

Eleven of the central Murray wetlands can receive water for the environment from permanent infrastructure: Hird Swamp, Johnson Swamp, Kunat Kunat, Lake Cullen, Lake Elizabeth, Lake Murphy, McDonalds Swamp, Muringa wetlands, Richardson’s Lagoon, Third Reedy Lake and the Wirra-Lo wetland complex. Temporary pumps are currently used to deliver water for the environment from the Murray River to some semi-permanent wetlands in the Guttrum and Benwell forests when required. More permanent water delivery infrastructure for Guttrum and Benwell forests is proposed as part of the Victorian Murray Floodplain Restoration Project.

Traditional Owners

System map

Environmental watering objectives in the Central Murray wetlands

Fish icon
Maintain populations of listed threatened species, including critically endangered Murray hardyhead and southern purple spotted gudgeon
Maintain or increase populations of common small-bodied native fish (such as carp gudgeon and flat-headed gudgeon)
Frog icon
Maintain populations of the endangered growling grass frog
Maintain populations of common native frogs (such as barking marsh frog, Peron’s tree frog and spotted grass frog)
Maintain populations of native turtle species (such as Murray River turtle and the common long-necked turtle)
Plant icon
Restore and then maintain the health of streamside trees (such as river red gum and black box)
Restore and then maintain mudflat vegetation communities (such as tall marsh, herblands, rushes and sedges)
Restore and then maintain native aquatic vegetation species (such as tassel, milfoil and pondweed)
Reduce the extent and density of invasive plant species
Support a mosaic of wetland plant communities across the region
bird icon
Provide resting, feeding and breeding habitat for a variety of waterbird feeding guilds, including threatened species (such as Australasian bittern, little bittern and brolga)
Insect icon
Increase the diversity and biomass of waterbugs

Environmental values

The central Murray wetlands support numerous listed threatened species ranging from vulnerable to critically endangered, including the Australasian bittern, Murray hardyhead, Australian painted snipe, growling grass frog and the southern purple spotted gudgeon, which was presumed extinct in Victoria until it was found at Third Reedy Lake in spring 2019. When the wetlands receive environmental water, they can attract prolific birdlife and provide feeding and breeding habitat for many threatened and endangered bird species (including the eastern great egret and white-bellied sea eagle) listed under legislation and international agreements. Lake Cullen, Hird Swamp, Third Reedy Lake and Johnson Swamp are internationally recognised under the Ramsar Convention, while the other wetlands in the central Murray system have bioregional significance.

Traditional Owner cultural values and uses

The wetlands and surrounding land in the central Murray area have rich cultural values belonging to the Traditional Owners - the Barapa Barapa, Wamba Wemba and Yorta Yorta peoples. Their traditional knowledge is a living culture evident throughout the landscape in tree markings, significant cultural sites and cultural tools for cultural practices. The rivers and floodplains are a food and fibre source and contain many sites of significance (such as camp sites and meeting places).

Environmental watering supports values such as native fish, waterbirds and turtles, and it promotes the growth of culturally important plants that provide food, medicine and weaving materials for Traditional Owner groups. The presence of water itself can be a cultural value, as well as the quality of the water: healthy water promotes a healthy Country.

Barapa Barapa and Wamba Wemba Traditional Owners have contributed to planning for water for the environment for wetlands important to them in the central Murray region in 2022-23. Focus areas include the following.

  • Barapa Barapa and Wamba Wemba Traditional Owners have highlighted maintaining or improving the health of wetland vegetation as a key priority across the wetlands. Traditional Owners have raised concerns about encroachment of lignum and tall marsh at Johnson and McDonald Swamps negatively impacting wetland water flow and habitat for waterbirds. Concerns have also been raised about duck hunting at Lake Murphy and rabbits harming culturally sensitive locations.
  • For 2022-23, Barapa Barapa and Wamba Wemba Traditional Owners are supportive of watering wetlands on their Country whilst allowing Lake Murphy and Hird Swamp to go through a drying phase. Barapa Barapa and Wamba Wemba Traditional Owners are interested in undertaking an Aboriginal Waterways Assessment (AWA) at several of the wetlands in the future – during wet and dry phases.
  • Watering activities in Guttrum Forest will again be a particular focus for Barapa Barapa and Wamba Wemba Traditional Owners in 2022-23, as described below.

Increasing the involvement of Traditional Owners in environmental water planning and management, and ultimately providing opportunities to progress towards self-determination within environmental watering program, is a core commitment of the VEWH and its agency partners. This is reinforced by a range of legislation and policy commitments (for example the Water Act 1989, the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework, Water for Victoria (2016)) and, in some cases, agreements under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010. Where Traditional Owners are more deeply involved in the planning and/or delivery of environmental flows for a particular site, their contribution is acknowledged in Table 5.2.7 with an icon. The use of this icon is not intended to indicate that these activities are meeting all the needs of Traditional Owners but is incorporated in the spirit of valuing that contribution and indicating progress towards this objective.

Billabong icons

Watering planned and/or delivered in partnership with Traditional Owners to support cultural values and uses

Barapa Barapa and Wamba Wemba input to watering actions for Guttrum Forest in 2022-23

The proposed delivery of water for the environment to Guttrum Forest during 2022-23 has been planned in conjunction with the Barapa Barapa and Wamba Wemba peoples, for whom the wetlands and surrounding forest are places of high cultural significance. The Traditional Owners have been an important part of Guttrum Forest planning and management from the outset and were directly involved in the delivery of environmental flows to Reed Bed Swamp in 2019-20 and 2021-22.

Barapa Barapa and Wamba Wemba collaborate with waterway managers to ensure that during watering events their cultural heritage is protected and that the hydrological needs of important cultural values (such as food and medicinal plant species, scar trees and ring trees) are supported through the timing and duration of planned watering actions to the forest.

Table 5.2.7 outlines the values and uses considered in the planning for and management of water for the environment at Guttrum Forest in 2022-23.

Table 5.2.7 Barapa Barapa and Wamba Wemba cultural values and uses at Guttrum Forest

Value/use

Considerations

Food, fibre and medicinal plants

  • A   winter fill followed by top-ups as required will ensure that the duration of   wetting will be long enough to support aquatic vegetation during its optimal   growth period. Allowing the wetland to dry before summer will also promote   cultural plants on the mudflats in these areas.

Cultural heritage

  • Watering   of Reed Bed Swamp supports fringing large old trees, including a couple of   ring trees and scar trees. The condition of these trees was seen to improve   following previous watering: for example, there was new growth.

Spiritual wellbeing

  • The   improvement in the condition of the wetland and the presence of water and   moisture contribute to a sense of spiritual wellbeing.

Sharing cultural knowledge

  • The   Traditional Owners provide support and advice about what ecological values to   target: that is, they provide information about what the wetland used to look   like and what values it previously supported.
  • Traditional   Owners have been present during the set-up of infrastructure and have been   able to advise about avoiding impacts on their cultural heritage.

Employment opportunities

  • Traditional   Owners want to become more involved in the management of their Country   through increased employment opportunities (such as ecological and cultural   monitoring). This has occurred as part of previous watering of Reed Bed   Swamp.

Cultural landscape

  • Maintaining   the open-water habitat and mudflats underneath will be difficult if the river   red gum saplings that germinated in the 2016 floods are not removed. This is   important for maintaining the cultural landscape and access to food and   medicinal resources.

Cultural practice

  • In   2019-20 when water for the environment was first delivered in Guttrum Forest,   a smoking ceremony and celebration were held to welcome the water back to the   wetland. The Traditional Owners have indicated that this should be a regular   activity each year when water is delivered, as it is something that their   ancestors would have done when the floodwaters arrived and would represent a   restoration of an important cultural practice.
  • Another   priority in 2022-23 is to provide more opportunities for women to return to   Country and undertake cultural practices such as weaving, emu egg carving and   discussion of the wetlands’ health as it relates to women’s business.

Social, recreational and economic values and uses

In planning the potential watering actions in Table 5.2.10, North Central CMA considered how environmental flows could support values and uses, including:

  • waterway recreation (such as canoeing, fishing, kayaking, swimming and water sports)
  • waterway recreation and amenity (such as birdwatching, duck hunting, camping, cycling, running and walking)
  • community events and tourism (such as visitation during the hunting and fishing seasons, Breakfast with the Birds events [hosted annually by North Central CMA] and supporting Aboriginal cultural heritage and history-based tours)
  • socio-economic benefits (such as ecosystem services like groundwater recharge, flood mitigation, nutrient treatment, carbon storage and stock and domestic uses)

Recent conditions

Rainfall across the central Murray wetlands (as recorded at Kerang) was close to the long-term average in 2021-22, but it varied considerably between months. December 2021 and February 2022 recorded the lowest rainfall, whereas January and April exceeded the long-term average significantly. Temperatures remained close to the long-term average and did not vary greatly. Deliveries of water for the environment at central Murray wetlands are made from Murray environmental entitlements.

In 2021-22, allocations against high-reliability water shares reached 52 percent in August and 100 percent in October. Low- reliability water shares began receiving allocations in December and reached their full allocations in February. This is the first time Murray seasonal determinations reached maximum availability since the introduction of the current entitlement products in 2007. Spills from Hume Dam resulted in the deduction of most spillable carryover from 2020-21. Section 5.2 has more information about the resource position of water for the environment in the Victorian Murray system during 2021-22.

Deliveries of water for the environment for the Central Murray wetlands were managed in line with an average climate scenario during 2021-22, and nearly all planned deliveries were achieved.

Richardson’s Lagoon and Reed Bed Swamp in Guttrum Forest were filled in late winter/early spring and they received additional top-up deliveries in spring/early summer. Water levels at Richardson’s Lagoon inundated both river red gum and black box trees on higher ground and provided a mosaic of habitats. Vulnerable musk duck and turtles were observed breeding at Richardson’s Lagoon, although some of the turtle nests were raided by foxes. Reed Bed Swamp held water until February before drawing down, and swathes of the threatened river swamp wallaby grass, wavy marshwort and water nymph responded well.

Kunat Kunat and Lake Elizabeth were filled in spring 2021 and topped up in autumn 2022 to maintain water levels, salinity and habitat conditions for Murray hardyhead. The two Muringa wetlands and six wetlands within the Wirra-lo wetland complex were also watered in spring and topped up over summer and autumn to support growling grass frogs, waterbirds and wetland vegetation communities. Lake Murphy was filled in spring to support vegetation communities, including recently planted river red gums. It was allowed to partially draw down over summer to provide foraging habitat for migratory waterbirds and then topped up again in autumn to optimise the survival of recently planted trees and fringing wetland plants.

Both McDonalds Swamp and Johnson Swamp received a partial fill over late autumn/winter to drown terrestrial weeds and promote aquatic vegetation and habitat for waterbirds, frogs and turtles.

Third Reedy Lake, Hird Swamp and Lake Cullen were all allowed to draw down during 2021-22 to support important dry-cycle wetland processes (such as nutrient cycling and the growth of lake-bed herbland plants). Periodic drying in Hird Swamp is particularly important to help control the encroachment of tall marsh and ensure adequate open-water habitat when it is next filled. Unauthorised tampering of a regulator delivered water to Lake Cullen on several occasions during 2021-22, but the volumes delivered were not significant and did not adversely affect the growing herbland vegetation.

The only planned watering actions not delivered during 2021-22 were a partial fill at Guttrum Forest in autumn/winter 2022 and spring fills at Lignum Swamp North and Red Gum Swamp in the Wirra-lo wetland complex. Guttrum Forest had two planned watering actions for 2021-22, and temporary pumping at the site at the time required significant planning and administrative approvals. The winter/spring fill went ahead as planned, but the need for the autumn partial fill often depends on the level of the drawdown, which is not known until near the end of summer. There was insufficient time for North Central CMA to complete the required approvals for the action to proceed. Recent changes to approval requirements may overcome this issue for future watering events, and delivery will further be streamlined once permanent water delivery infrastructure is constructed at the site, as proposed under the Victorian Floodplain Murray Restoration Project. Watering of Lignum Swamp North and Red Gum Swamp could not proceed due to administrative approvals that were needed for development works to mitigate current delivery constraints.

Scope of environmental watering

Table 5.2.10 describes the potential environmental watering actionsflows in 2022-23, their expected watering effects (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 5.2.10 Potential environmental watering actions, expected watering effects and associated environmental objectives for the central Murray wetlands

Potential environmental watering action

Expected watering effects

Environmental objective

Guttrum Forest (fill in winter/spring and further top-ups as required in spring/summer)

Billabong icon

  • Wet the fringing adult river red gums to support their growth and drown river red gum saplings within the wetland bed to maintain open-water habitat
  • Promote the growth and re-establishment of aquatic vegetation and tall marsh vegetation at the fringe of the wetland
  • Maintain the depth of the wetland to support frogs and waterbird feeding and breeding

Frog iconPlant iconHeron icon

Guttrum Forest (partial fill in autumn/winter 2023)

Billabong icon

  • Inundate existing adult river red gums to support their growth, and drown river red gum saplings in the open-water habitat
  • Increase the water depth and extent to trigger wetland plants to germinate in late winter and when follow-up watering is provided in early spring 2023
  • Provide feeding and refuge habitat for waterbirds and frogs

Frog iconPlant iconHeron icon

Johnson Swamp (fill in winter/spring and top up as required)

  • Drown terrestrial weeds to limit their growth and reduce their extent
  • Promote the germination and establishment of aquatic vegetation
  • Inundate the wetland fringe to provide habitat for waterbirds, frogs and turtles and provide conditions suitable for macroinvertebrates and small- bodied native fish that are food for waterbirds

Frog iconTurtle iconPlant iconHeron iconHeron icon

Johnson Swamp (throughflow in spring/ summer)

  • Provide connectivity between Johnson Swamp and Pyramid Creek to boost productivity, support macroinvertebrates and support nutrient cycling inputs for the creek and food resources for fish
  • Flush carbon and biofilms within the wetland to promote new growth and increase waterbug activity for native fish

Fish iconFish icon

Kunat Kunat (fill in spring, top up as required)

  • Maintain salinity within 15,000-80,000 EC and the water depth to support suitable habitat and breeding conditions for Murray hardyhead and growing conditions for submerged aquatic plants that provide habitat for Murray hardyhead
  • Maintain the water depth to provide permanent feeding, foraging and refuge habitat for waterbirds

Frog iconPlant iconHeron icon

Lake Cullen (partial fill in winter/spring, top up as required)
  • Provide feeding, breeding and refuge habitat for waterbirds
  • Inundate the wetland to provide feeding and breeding for waterbirds and suitable conditions for macroinvertebrates and submerged plants as food resources for waterbirds
Plant iconHeron icon
Lake Elizabeth (fill in spring, top up as required)
  • Maintain salinity within 15,000-80,000 EC and the water depth to support suitable habitat and breeding conditions for Murray hardyhead and growing conditions for submerged aquatic plants that provide habitat for Murray hardyhead
  • Maintain the water depth to provide permanent feeding, foraging and refuge habitat for waterbirds
Frog iconPlant iconHeron icon

McDonalds Swamp (fill in winter/spring, top up as required)

  • Drown terrestrial weeds to limit their growth and reduce their extent
  • Promote the germination and establishment of aquatic vegetation
  • Inundate the wetland body and fringe to provide habitat for waterbirds, frogs and turtles and provide conditions suitable for macroinvertebrates that are food for waterbirds, frogs and turtles
  • Support the growth of planted river red gums and other aquatic and herbland vegetation
  • Wet the fringing river red gums to support their growth

Frog iconTurtle iconPlant iconHeron icon

Muringa wetlands (fill in winter/spring, top up as required)

  • Support the growth of aquatic and semi-aquatic plants
  • Increase the area of habitat and grow zooplankton and waterbug communities to provide food resources for frogs and waterbirds

Frog iconPlant iconHeron icon

Richardson’s Lagoon (fill in late winter/spring)

  • Maintain the water level to support the condition of aquatic macrophytes and aquatic reeds and rushes (i.e. tall marsh) around the deep lagoon channels and wetland fringes
  • Increase the extent of floodplain inundation to support the growth of floodplain red gums and promote the germination and establishment of flood-dependant understory vegetation
  • Support the growth of traditional plant species at a significant cultural site enabling the continuation of cultural practices (e.g. harvesting, medicine and weaving)
  • Provide a diversity of water depths to provide feeding, foraging and refuge habitat for water-dependent animals, including waterbirds, turtles and frogs

Frog iconTurtle iconPlant iconHeron icon

Wirra-Lo wetland complex: Bunyip Swamp East and Bunyip Swamp West (fill in winter/spring, top up as required)

  • Inundate recently established reed beds to stimulate their growth to create feeding and nesting habitat for Australasian bittern

Plant iconHeron icon

Wirra-Lo wetland complex: Cattleyard Creek (fill in winter/ spring, top up as required)
  • Inundate river red gum woodland trees to promote their growth and improve their condition
  • Promote the germination and establishment of aquatic vegetation
  • Inundate habitat to provide feeding and breeding opportunities for frogs and waterbirds
Plant iconHeron iconFrog icon
Wirra-Lo wetland complex: Duck Creek North (fill in winter/ spring, top up as required)
  • Improve soil moisture in the wetland fringe to promote the recruitment and increase the extent of river red gum trees
  • Inundate the aquatic and herbland vegetation to promote its growth and increase its extent
  • Maintain open-water and associated mudflat habitats for waterbirds to feed and breed

Plant iconHeron icon

Wirra-Lo Wetland complex: Emu Creek (fill in winter/spring, top up as required)
  • Inundate black box and lignum along the creekline to improve their condition
  • Promote the germination and growth of aquatic vegetation in the deeper sections of the wetland to support frogs and freshwater turtles
  • Provide soil moisture along the perimeter to maintain the condition of trees for terrestrial fauna, including resident grey crowned babblers

Frog iconTurtle iconPlant iconKangaroo icon

Wirra-Lo wetland complex: Lignum Swamp North (fill in winter/spring, top up as required)
  • Promote the establishment and growth of submerged and emergent aquatic vegetation to provide feeding and breeding habitat for growling grass frogs
  • Inundate habitat to provide feeding and breeding opportunities for frogs, waterbirds and turtles

Frog iconTurtle iconPlant iconHeron icon

Wirra-Lo wetland complex: Lignum Swamp South (fill in winter/spring, top up as required)
  • Inundate recently established reed beds to stimulate their growth to create feeding and nesting habitat for Australasian bittern
  • Promote the establishment and growth of submerged and emergent aquatic vegetation to provide feeding and breeding habitat for growling grass frogs
  • Inundate habitat to provide feeding and breeding opportunities for frogs, waterbirds and turtles

Frog iconTurtle iconPlant iconHeron icon

Wirra-Lo wetland complex: Red Gum Swamp (fill in winter/ spring, top up as required)
  • Inundate established river red gum trees to promote their growth and maintain their condition
  • Inundate habitat to provide feeding and breeding opportunities for frogs, waterbirds and turtles
Frog iconTurtle iconPlant iconHeron icon

Scenario planning

Table 5.2.11 outlines potential environmental watering and expected water use under a range of planning scenarios.

North Central CMA has developed a wetland strategy that aims to manage combinations of wetlands at a landscape scale to address particular environmental objectives. In applying the criteria described in the strategy, North Central CMA has prioritised potential watering actions for 14 wetlands across the central Murray for watering under all climatic scenarios. These include Guttrum Forest, Johnson Swamp, Kunat Kunat, Lake Cullen, Lake Elizabeth, Muringa wetlands and Wirra-lo wetlands complex: Bunyip Swamp East and West, Cattleyard Creek, Duck Creek North, Emu Creek, Lignum Swamp North and South and Red Gum Swamp. Under dry to wet climatic scenarios, McDonalds Swamp and Richardson’s Lagoon also become a high priority.

Watering actions proposed for Kunat Kunat and Lake Elizabeth are needed to maintain permanent habitat for endangered species like the Murray hardyhead. Sites within the Wirra-lo wetland complex also require water under all scenarios to support endangered species (such as Australasian bittern and growling grass frog) and to maintain red gum and black box communities. Muringa wetlands have recently been added to the environmental watering program, and they were actively watered for the first time in 2021-22. Follow-up watering is considered a high priority in 2022-23 to help planted vegetation communities become established and consolidate the benefits of last year’s watering.

Johnson Swamp, Lake Cullen, McDonalds Swamp and Richardson’s Lagoon are all ephemeral wetlands that are due to commence or complete their planned wet phase in 2022-23. Johnson Swamp completely dried in December 2020 and received a partial fill in autumn 2022 to prime it for the planned fill in winter/spring 2022. Inundating previously dried parts of the wetland is expected to trigger a significant productivity boost, so some water will be passed through the wetland and outfall to Pyramid Creek to supply zooplankton, macroinvertebrates and nutrients to stimulate foodwebs in the creek. Lake Cullen has been dry since 2020-21, and it needs water in 2022-23 to trigger the growth of aquatic plants and provide feeding and breeding opportunities for frogs, birds and turtles while other wetlands in the region enter their dry phase.

McDonalds Swamp and Richardson’s Lagoon received water for the environment in 2021-22, and they need follow-up watering in 2022-23 to achieve the optimal watering regime for their vegetation communities and consolidate the environmental benefits of last year’s watering. Filling these wetlands in winter and spring will enhance the growth and recruitment of wetland plants and fringing trees and provide feeding and breeding opportunities for waterbirds, frogs and turtles. Watering McDonalds Swamp and Richardson’s Lagoon is a lower priority under a drought scenario because watering in 2021-22 partially met many of the vegetation objectives for each site and because waterbirds, frogs and turtles will be unlikely to breed.

In Guttrum Forest, a fill in winter/spring, with top-ups over spring/summer, is planned to maintain the water level and build on environmental outcomes achieved in 2021-22, including supporting recent revegetation works and regeneration at Reed Bed Swamp. A fill may be delivered in autumn/winter 2023 at Guttrum Forest if relevant approvals can be obtained in time. The decision to deliver water in autumn/winter will depend on Traditional Owner and ecological assessments in early 2023 and the level of the drawdown over summer, as well as forecast water availability and carryover for 2023-24. Under a wet climate scenario, overbank flows are likely to fill the wetland naturally in autumn/winter 2023.

Lake Murphy, Third Reedy Lake and Hird Swamp will not receive water for the environment in 2022-23 to support essential dry-phase ecosystem processes in line with recommendations in their management plans.

Priority carryover for 2023-24 of 4,600 ML is essential to maintain water at sites for endangered fish and frogs and to provide a mosaic of refuge wetlands across the region in the event of dry or drought conditions.

Planning scenario table

Table 5.2.11 Potential environmental watering for the central Murray wetlands under a range of planning scenarios

Planning scenario

Drought

Dry

Average

Wet

Expected conditions

  • Catchment run-off and natural flow into the wetlands are highly unlikely
  • Catchment run-off and natural flow into the wetlands are unlikely
  • Low-to-moderate catchment run-off and natural flow into the wetlands are possible, particularly in winter/spring
  • Catchment run-off and natural flow into the wetlands is likely, with potential flooding in some wetlands, particularly in winter/spring

Potential environmental watering – tier 1 (high priorities)

  • Guttrum Forest (winter/spring)
  • Guttrum Forest (autumn/winter 2023)1
  • Kunat Kunat (Round Lake)
  • Lake Elizabeth
  • Wirra-lo Wetland complex (Bunyip Swamp East, Bunyip Swamp West, Cattleyard Creek, Duck Creek North, Emu Creek, Lignum Swamp North and South, Red Gum Swamp)
  • Muringa Wetlands
  • Lake Cullen
  • Johnson Swamp
  • Guttrum Forest (winter/spring)
  • Guttrum Forest (autumn/winter 2023)1
  • Kunat Kunat (Round Lake)
  • Lake Elizabeth
  • Wirra-lo Wetland complex (Bunyip Swamp East, Bunyip Swamp West, Cattleyard Creek, Duck Creek North, Emu Creek, Lignum Swamp North and South, Red Gum Swamp)
  • Muringa Wetlands
  • Lake Cullen
  • Johnson Swamp
  • Johnson Swamp throughflow
  • McDonalds Swamp
  • Richardson’s Lagoon
  • Guttrum Forest (winter/spring)
  • Guttrum Forest (autumn/winter 2023)1
  • Kunat Kunat (Round Lake)
  • Lake Elizabeth
  • Wirra-lo Wetland complex (Bunyip Swamp East, Bunyip Swamp West, Cattleyard Creek, Duck Creek North, Emu Creek, Lignum Swamp North and South, Red Gum Swamp)
  • Muringa Wetlands
  • Lake Cullen
  • Johnson Swamp
  • Johnson Swamp throughflow
  • McDonalds Swamp
  • Richardson’s Lagoon
  • Lagoon
  • Guttrum Forest (winter/spring)
  • Guttrum Forest (autumn/winter 2023)1
  • Kunat Kunat (Round Lake)
  • Lake Elizabeth
  • Wirra-lo Wetland complex (Bunyip Swamp East, Bunyip Swamp West, Cattleyard Creek, Duck Creek North, Emu Creek, Lignum Swamp North and South, Red Gum Swamp)
  • Muringa Wetlands
  • Lake Cullen
  • Johnson Swamp
  • Johnson Swamp throughflow
  • McDonalds Swamp
  • Richardson’s

Potential environmental watering – tier 2 (additional priorities)

  • McDonalds Swamp
  • Richardson’s Lagoon
  • N/A

Possible volume of water for the environment required to achieve objectives

  • 15,160 ML (tier 1)
  • 2,450 ML (tier 2)
  • 16,750 ML (tier 1)
  • 16,650 (tier 1)
  • 16,250 (tier 1)

Priority carryover requirements for 2023-24

  • 4,600 ML

1 Where it can be delivered within licence approval requirements.

Engagement

Table 2 shows the partners, stakeholder organisations and individuals with which North Central CMA engaged when preparing the central Murray wetlands seasonal watering proposal.

Seasonal watering proposals are informed by longer-term regional catchment strategies, regional waterway strategies, environmental flow studies, water management plans and other studies. These incorporate a range of environmental, cultural, social and economic perspectives and longerterm integrated catchment and waterway management objectives. For further details, refer to the North Central Regional Catchment Strategy and the North Central Waterway Strategy.

Table 2 Partners and stakeholders engaged in developing the central Murray wetlands seasonal watering proposal

Partner and stakeholder engagement
  • Birdlife Australia
  • Commonwealth Environmental Water Office
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
  • Goulburn- Murray Water
  • Parks Victoria
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (land manager)
  • Gannawarra Shire Council
  • Campaspe Shire Council
  • Swan Hill Rural City Council
  • Loddon Shire Council
  • Individual landholders and community members
  • Field and Game Australia
  • Gateway to Gannawarra Visitor centre
  • Arthur Rylah Institute (Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning)
  • Contracted ecologists
  • Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation
  • Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation
  • Barapa Barapa Traditional Owners
  • Wemba Wemba Traditional Owners

Page last updated: 01/12/22