The water regimes of these wetlands are influenced by their position in the landscape. The development and operation of the Shepparton, Central Goulburn and Murray Valley irrigation districts have changed the natural flow paths and the timing, frequency, volume and duration of natural flooding to these and other wetlands in the region. Existing irrigation system infrastructure enables water for the environment to be delivered to the three nominated wetlands, but irrigation deliveries have priority within the channel system. This limits the volume of water that can be delivered to the wetlands, often when it is most needed.
Environmental watering objectives in the Broken wetlands
Provide feeding and roosting habitat for waterbirds
Reduce the cover and diversity of exotic plant species
Increase and maintain populations of rigid water milfoil and slender water milfoil
Moodie Swamp, Kinnairds Wetland and Black Swamp support a high diversity of vegetation communities ranging from river red gum-dominated swamps to cane grass wetlands. The wetlands contain state and nationally threatened vegetation communities and species including ridged water milfoil and river swamp wallaby-grass. The wetlands also provide food resources and breeding habitat for bird species of high conservation significance (such as eastern great egret, Latham’s snipe, white-bellied sea eagle, Australasian bittern, brolga, royal spoonbill, yellow- billed spoonbill, Australasian shoveler and glossy ibis). Many of these species are listed in international agreements and conventions.
The Broken River catchment received below-average rainfall and some of its highest recorded temperatures during 2018–19. Water for the environment was delivered to Black Swamp and Kinnairds Wetland in spring, to support the growth of native vegetation and provide
refuge for birds and other water-dependent animals. Both wetlands responded with increased wetland plant cover including threatened species (such as river swamp wallaby- grass). Both wetlands dried over summer and autumn.
Moodie Swamp was allowed to dry during 2018–19, to reduce competition from exotic plants. Drying cycles are critical for supporting a healthy, productive wetland environment.
Scope of environmental planning
Potential environmental watering actions and objectives for the lower Broken Creek.
Potential environmental watering action
Functional watering objective
Black Swamp (fill in autumn)
Kinnairds Wetland (fill in autumn)
Moodie Swamp (partial fill in autumn)
1 'Or natural' means that flow rates may be above or below the specified target rates depending on inflows and climatic conditions.
Table 2 shows the partners and stakeholder organisations with which the Goulburn Broken CMA engaged when preparing the Broken system seasonal watering proposal.
Seasonal watering proposals are informed by longer-term plans such as regional catchment strategies, regional waterway strategies and environmental water management plans and other studies. These plans incorporate a range of environmental, cultural, social and economic perspectives and longer term integrated catchment and waterway management objectives. For further details, refer to the Goulburn Broken Regional Catchment Strategy and Goulburn Broken Waterway Strategy.
Table 2 Partners and stakeholders engaged in developing the Broken system seasonal watering proposal
|Partner and stakeholder engagement|
- Goulburn Murray Landcare Network
- Goulburn Valley Environment Group
- Kinnairds Wetland Advisory Committee
- Turtles Australia
- Individual landholders
- Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning
- Goulburn-Murray Water
- Moira Shire
- Parks Victoria
- Field and Game Australia
- Trellys Fishing and Hunting
- Taungurung Land and Waters Council
- Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation