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Catchment health program marks 3-year milestone

An aerial photo of a dam surrounded by newly planted trees, and in the background is a large water reservoir.
26 Nov 2021

A Healthy Coliban Catchment, a joint project between Coliban Water, Dja Dja Wurrung and North Central Catchment Management Authority (CMA) has marked its three-year milestone.

Coliban Water Executive General Manager Service Delivery Danny McLean said the Upper Coliban catchment, namely the Coliban River, is one of the most important catchments in north central Victoria, providing much of our region’s drinking water.

“It provides raw water for drinking water purposes for more than 130,000 people from Kyneton through to Bendigo as well as having a range of additional environmental, social, cultural and economic values.

“The catchment and its waterways face known threats from existing and future development and population growth, land management activities and from climate change. This project is about providing long-term action to create a healthy Coliban catchment,” Mr McLean said.

The project plan has been developed for implementation over 20 years, with an estimated cost of $10.81 million over the first 15 years of implementation.

North Central CMA Executive Manager Program Delivery Rachel Murphy said as part of the project, more than 250 people have been engaged in various projects to improve the catchment.

This includes supporting local government projects such as Macedon Ranges Healthy Landscapes and community sites such as the Lauriston Reserve revegetation.

“In the past 3 years we’ve engaged local contractors and Traditional Owners to install 30 kilometres of fencing, control 200 hectares of weeds and revegetate 66 hectares of land adjacent to waterways with indigenous plants.

“We have also installed 62 off-stream watering points, which provide alternative water sources to prevent livestock from degrading the water quality and banks of waterways,” she said.

Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation has played an important role in the project, being the traditional lands of the Djaara people – the waters are spiritually and culturally significant.

The program has been developed around three specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound goals, which address future development pressures, waterway protection and habitat connectivity goals.

“This project is an excellent example of a whole of catchment and whole of water-cycle approach to environmental stewardship and sustainability. We’re working closely with councils, landowners and community groups to see real impact on the Upper Coliban catchment and we’re implementing long-term water resources planning,” Mr McLean said.

Click here for information about A Healthy Coliban Catchment.