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Water for historic Dimboola billabong

SIGNIFICANT: Stuart Harradine at The Ranch Billabong at Dimboola where environmental watering will aim to restore plants and water quality at the cultural site.

SIGNIFICANT: Stuart Harradine at The Ranch Billabong at Dimboola where environmental watering will aim to restore plants and water quality at the cultural site.

Wotjobaluk people will mark the anniversary of their 2005 Native Title Consent Determination by returning water to one of their most culturally significant sites along the Wimmera River.
Barengi Gadjin Land Council and Wotjobaluk traditional owners started environmental watering at The Ranch Billabong at Dimboola on Friday.
The activity, supported by Wimmera Catchment Management Authority and the Victorian Environmental Water Holder, will involve pumping up to 20 megalitres from the Wimmera River into the billabong and monitoring changes to inform future management of the site.
The water is from the Victorian Environmental Water Holder’s Wimmera River and Glenelg River ‘water for the environment’ allocation.
Barengi Gadjin Land Council owns and manages The Ranch Billabong on the western side of the bridge over the Wimmera River at Dimboola.
Barengi Gadjin Land Council water officer and Wotjobaluk traditional owner Stuart Harradine said he was looking forward to the water restoring the site.
“Restoration of the billabong has been something our community has been keen to see for many years,” he said.
“Barengi Gadjin Land Council has received funding to help achieve some of its goals for the site, such as restoring native plant and animal habitats, and having water is a key part of this.”
The watering will lead to an improvement in the abundance of the plant old man weed, also known as sneezeweed.
The native wetland plant is a ‘mudflat’ species that grows when water levels recede and is traditionally important to the Wotjobaluk people for medicinal purposes.
“We are also improving access and knowledge sharing at the site with tracks and interpretative signage,” Mr Harradine said.
The Ranch Billabong area has been home to many generations of Wotjobaluk people, long before European settlement and increasingly after Ebenezer Mission at Antwerp closed.
A cultural connection to the site remains and Barengi Gadjin Land Council bought the land in 2005.
Plans for its management are included in a Growing What is Good Country Plan, Voices of the Wotjobaluk Nations project.
Wimmera CMA chief executive David Brennan said the condition of the billabong had deteriorated significantly.
“Red gums are showing signs of stress, water quality is poor and there is a lack of aquatic and fringing plants that provide habitat for fish and bugs,” he said.
“The watering is expected to improve the health of stressed red gums, encourage re-establishment of plant life and improve water quality.
“This is an exciting project that will have cultural and environmental benefits and is the result of extensive community consultation and planning.”
This project has been funded in part via a statewide $4.7-million Aboriginal Water Program fund to recognise and understand aboriginal water values, uses and objectives. The State Government has provided part of the funding for the project.

The entire December 19, 2018 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire December 19, 2018 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Dec 19 2018

Posted by on Dec 19 2018. Filed under Community, Environment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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