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Landcare Network Facilitator Jackie Bowe with Bruce Campbell, Cr Kylie Gaston, Graham Ryan and Sam Stevens_web

Merri River project gets green light

News Article Date: 
Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Funding has been secured by Warrnambool Coastcare Landcare Network for a major weed removal and revegetation project in North Warrnambool.

This year a 2.4km stretch of the Merri River between Cassadys and Wollaston bridges will be rehabilitated this year with woody weed removal.

The weed removal will prepare an area covering 1.34ha for revegetation with 7740 indigenous plants while 200m of fencing will protect the plants from livestock.

The Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority (CMA) has contributed $26,075 towards the project, secured via the State Government’s Regional Catchments for Communities program, with a commitment to fund the second year of follow-up revegetation at a cost of about $9,000.

The project is being supported by Warrnambool City Council while the Warrnambool Coastcare Landcare Network volunteers and landholders will contribute $34,000 of in-kind support.

Chairman of the Warrnambool Coastcare Landcare Network Bruce Campbell said the project would help improve water quality and river habitat along the Merri River, which was one of the more degraded rivers in the region.

“This is a way to try and repair the damage done in the past,” Mr Campbell said.

“What we are working towards with public and private landowners is to remove weeks and restore native vegetation for the benefit of both humans – in terms of water quality and fish – and wildlife.

“There will be more habitat for wildlife, birds and other creatures, that need native vegetation to live in.”.

Landholder and Managing Director of Ryans Group Graham Ryan said his company was keen to become involved in the project because of the environmental benefit to the river and it would help return the river into “what it should be”.

Land in Warrnambool Development Manager Sam Stevens said his company, which was developing land to the north of the Merri River, wanted to beautify the area around the river for residents.

“We’ll provide paths and access points to make it an attractive area for the public to use,” he said.

The Merri River estuary and urban reaches have been identified as a priority in the CMA's Waterway Strategy.

Anyone interested in getting involved in coastcare and landcare projects can contact Warrnambool and District Landcare Facilitator Jackie Bowe on 5559 4435 or jbowe [at] warrnambool [dot] vic [dot] gov [dot] au or Warrnambool Coastcare Landcare Network on 0431 057 741 or wclg [at] live [dot] com [dot] au


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