Murray River Plans Set Out New River Health Priorities

Peel-Harvey Catchment Council project officer Jo Garvey with the river action plan that |establishes priorities for the Murray River mid-reaches.
Peel-Harvey Catchment Council project officer Jo Garvey with the river action plan that |establishes priorities for the Murray River mid-reaches.

KEY natural resource management issues for the Murray River are under careful consideration after a major review of the river’s action plans (RAPs).

The plans are significant documents that set priority Landcare works for reaches of the Murray.

They have been developed by the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council (PHCC) in partnership with the Shire of Murray and the support of the Department of Water and the local community.

PHCC chairwoman Jan Star said the two newly released RAPs for the lower and middle reaches of the Murray River assessed and quantified results of previous river action plans prepared in 2003 and 2008, and had identified improvements.

“The Murray River’s health needs our focus and attention,” she said.

“Bank degradation has been attributed to boat wash, lack of native vegetation and stock access.

“These 2014/15 RAPs show an increase in vegetation and a decrease in bank erosion in some sections of the riverbanks where Landcare restoration works such as river bank stabilisation, fencing and revegetation have been undertaken.”

The Peel-Harvey Catchment Council is continuing to work on priority natural resource management issues along the Murray River, most recently in repairing corridors to provide habitat and food for native wildlife under its large Rivers 2 Ramsar biodiversity project.

The Federal Government has committed more than $3.5 million to restore ecological corridors across the Peel-Harvey catchment to re-|establish habitats for native fauna.

Rivers 2 Ramsar is occurring concurrently across six priority sites in the 11,940km catchment.

The large scale biodiversity project is on schedule to finish in 2017 and is having significant social, economic and environmental benefits.