13 October 2021
Floodplain rescue mission sparks local interest
SWAN Hill and Nyah residents have shown keen interest in Victoria’s plan to save priority Murray River floodplains, with more than 100 people taking time to learn about projects planned for Nyah-Vinifera Park.
Under the Victorian Murray Floodplain Restoration Project (VMFRP), flooding will be restored to the forest by removing blockages that stop water naturally flowing into creeks, and infrastructure such as flow regulators, channels and containment banks will be used to efficiently water the floodplains.
“When talking with people about these projects, it’s really clear everyone can see our floodplains are in distress and need water,” said VMFRP Engagement Officer Jodi Reynolds, who recently attended the Swan Hill Farmers Market, the Nyah Lions Club Market and spent two days in Nyah chatting to locals about the projects.
“When I spoke to older people they remembered when the forest did flood more regularly, but younger people were a bit surprised to learn that, prior to river regulation, the forest would have been properly inundated 7 to 8 years in 10.”
Ms Reynolds said people were welcoming and generous with their time, but also raised concerns about water returning to the floodplain leading to increases in mosquitoes and blackwater events.
“With construction of these projects not due to start until 2023, now is a great time to be discussing the projects with locals and hearing their thoughts and concerns,” she said.
“Before river regulation, the floodwater would usually recede back to the Murray in spring. When floodwater stays on the floodplain over summer, there’s more chance of mosquitoes and blackwater events.
“At Nyah and Vinifera, we will be able to pump water onto the floodplain and the infrastructure we build will enable us to get floodwater on and off the floodplain during winter and spring, reducing the risk of blackwater events and mosquitoes.”
Ms Reynolds said locals can expect to see her more often, as easing COVID-19 restrictions allow for more engagement events. A webinar on has also been scheduled for 3pm on 27 October, focusing on the role of the VMFRP in restoring the Murray-Darling Basin, with further technical webinars planned for November. To find out more and register for the upcoming webinar, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
“The lockdown in the Mildura Rural City Council region has paused our engagement activities in that area, but we are hoping we can continue to be regular attendees at fantastic local events such as farmers markets,” she said.
“We are also running more drop-in sessions, so don’t be surprised if you see us in the main street at Nyah, Wood Wood or at your local neighbourhood house.”
The VMFRP is being implemented as part of Victoria’s obligations umailto:email@example.com the Murray Darling Basin Plan in partnership with Lower Murray Water, Goulburn Murray Water, Mallee Catchment Management Authority, North Central Catchment Management Authority, Parks Victoria and the Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning. The VMFRP is funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment.
More information about the VMFRP projects can be found at www.vmfrp.com.au
For further information please contact VMFRP at firstname.lastname@example.org.