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5.1 Northern region overview
The northern region has six river systems, four major floodplain sites and many wetlands that can receive water for the environment. The Broken, Campaspe, Goulburn, Loddon and Ovens river systems are tributaries of the Murray River. The four major floodplain sites along the Murray River corridor are Barmah Forest, Gunbower Forest, Hattah Lakes and Lindsay, Mulcra and Wallpolla islands. The other wetlands are distributed across the Broken, Goulburn, Loddon and Murray floodplains. The rivers and wetlands in the northern region are managed by the North East, Goulburn Broken, North Central and Mallee CMAs.
Many of the water systems in the northern region are connected through infrastructure (such as Goulburn
Weir and the Waranga Western Channel), which allows water to be physically delivered from the Goulburn River
to the Loddon and Campaspe systems. Water trading
also enables transfers of allocation between systems. Within the limitations of each mechanism, water for the environment can be moved between systems for delivery to environmental sites across northern Victoria, although most water for the environment is used to provide benefits in the systems in which the water is held.
Environmental values, recent conditions, environmental watering objectives and planned actions for each system in the northern region are presented in the system sections that follow.
Traditional Owners in the northern region
Traditional Owners in the northern region have a deep connection to the region’s rivers, wetlands and floodplains.
The Traditional Owner groups in and around northern Victoria include Barapa Barapa, Dhudhuroa, Latji Latji, Ngintait, Nyeri Nyeri, Taungurung, Tati Tati, Wadi Wadi, Wamba Wemba, Waywurru, Weki Weki, Yorta Yorta and Yaithmathang. The Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation, First People of the Millewa-Mallee Aboriginal Corporation (representing Latji Latji, Nyeri Nyeri, Ngintait and Wergaia), Taungurung Land and Waters Council Aboriginal Corporation and Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation are Registered Aboriginal Parties under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.
There are several formal agreements in place with Traditional Owners in the northern region.
In 2013, the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation entered into a recognition and settlement agreement under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 in Victoria. Under the agreement, Dja Dja Wurrung has rights to access and use water for traditional purposes, providing the take of water does not affect other parties.
In 2004, the Victorian Government entered into a cooperative management agreement with the Yorta Yorta to improve collaboration in the management of their Country including Barmah State Forest and reserves along the Goulburn River.
In 2010 the Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation and the State of Victoria entered into a Traditional Owner Land Management Agreement under the Conservation, Forests and Lands Act 1987 over Barmah National Park. This established the Yorta Yorta Traditional Owner Land Management Board to jointly manage Barmah National Park.
In 2018, the Victorian Government, the Taungurung Clans Aboriginal Corporation and the Taungurung Traditional Owner group signed agreements under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 and related legislation.
Seasonal watering proposals are informed by community, stakeholder and program partner engagement, as well as longer-term regional catchment strategies, regional waterway strategies, relevant technical studies (such
as environmental flow studies and environmental water management plans). Program partners and other stakeholders help to identify environmental watering priorities and opportunities for the coming year. The strategies and technical reports collectively describe a range of environmental, cultural, economic, social and Traditional Owner perspectives and longer-term integrated catchment and waterway management objectives that influence environmental watering actions and priorities.
The International Association for Public Participation’s Public Participation Spectrum (IAP2 Spectrum) has been used
to categorise the levels of participation of stakeholders involved in the environmental watering planning process. Table 5.1.1 shows the IAP2 Spectrum categories and participation goals.
5.1 Northern region overview
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