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Traditional Owner cultural values and uses
Goulburn Broken CMA sought input from Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation and Taungurung Land and Waters Council during the development of environmental watering plans for the Goulburn wetlands. Both groups have indicated that they support the watering action priorities planned for the year ahead and will continue to work with the CMA to implement these actions while exploring further opportunities to support their cultural values.
Waterway managers are seeking opportunities to
support increased participation of Traditional Owners in environmental water planning and management. Where Traditional Owners are more deeply involved in the planning and/or delivery of environmental flows for a particular site, their contribution is acknowledged in Table 5.4.3 with
an icon.
Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation has been involved in planning for environmental watering at Kanyapella Basin and Loch Garry, including participating in the development of environmental water management plans for the sites. Kanyapella Basin, Loch Garry and the surrounding catchment have a long history of Traditional Owner occupation by the Yorta Yorta Peoples. Kanyapella Basin particularly plays an important role in Yorta Yorta cultural and spiritual heritage. Kanyapella Basin may be partially filled in winter or spring 2020, supporting cultural values such as knowledge sharing and food and medicinal plants. Loch Garry watering is planned for autumn 2021.
Taungurung Land and Waters Council and Goulburn Broken CMA are planning to repeat the environmental watering
of Horseshoe Lagoon in winter 2020, following the first delivery of environmental water to the site in winter 2019. This was celebrated by the Taungurung women as it is a significant site and the best example of working together
to protect cultural values and towards healing Country. The Taungurung water knowledge group, Baan Ganalina, have worked closely with Goulburn Broken CMA, the VEWH
and other partners to bring water back to the lagoon to restore habitats and see the birds and other animals return to the site. Taungurung Land and Waters Council also participated in the development of the Environmental Water Management Plan for the site in 2019.
Social, recreational and economic values and uses
In planning the potential watering actions in Table 5.4.3, Goulburn Broken CMA considered how environmental flows could support values and uses including recreation and amenity (such as walking, photography and birdwatching).
Recent conditions
The Goulburn catchment has observed persistent dry conditions over the past few years, with 2019–20 no exception. Annual rainfall was well below average for the region for most of the year, except for a very wet autumn with above-average rainfall, which provided suitable conditions to enable watering actions and also provided natural inflows as supplements. Temperatures throughout most of the year were above the long-term average. The drier conditions resulted in increased evaporation rates for storages and wetlands alike, but water availability was good due to carryover and 80 percent allocation to high-reliability water shares in the Goulburn system.
Environmental water was delivered to Horseshoe Lagoon for the first time in winter 2019, to partially fill the wetland before drying over summer. The wetland vegetation responded well to the watering with both the rare river swamp wallaby grass and veiled fringe sedge detected during monitoring; waterbirds and turtles were also observed at the lagoon.
The timing of a planned autumn 2020 fill of Reedy Swamp was moved to spring 2019 to build on a rainfall event that partially filled the wetland. The wetland provided a much- needed refuge in the region over a very dry summer, with waterbird and woodland bird species recorded including glossy ibis, Australasian shoveler, Latham’s snipe, freckled duck and the first record of crimson chats at the site.
Autumn 2020 saw two wetland watering events delivered, assisted by the above-average rainfall observed in late April/ early May. The river-red-gum-dominated Doctors Swamp was filled in May 2020. The first environmental watering of Loch Garry was trialled and achieved a partial fill.
As always, planned watering actions were adaptively managed in 2019–20. The changed timing of delivery to Reedy Swamp optimised environmental outcomes and drought refuge by responding to natural conditions in spring, while the first trial delivery to Loch Garry delivered around half of the planned volume due to a slower delivery rate than expected. Gaynor Swamp was not actively watered in 2019–20 to allow it to dry, to reduce exotic vegetation cover at the site. Now the dry phase has been completed, a spring watering in 2020–21 is planned.
Scope of environmental watering
Table 5.4.3 describes the potential environmental watering actions in 2020–21, their functional watering objectives (that is, the intended physical or biological effect of the watering action) and the longer-term environmental objective(s) they support. Each environmental objective relies on one or more potential environmental watering actions and their associated physical or biological functions.
5.4 Goulburn system
  Watering planned and/or delivered in partnership with Traditional Owners to support Aboriginal cultural values and uses
   Victorian Environmental Water Holder | Seasonal Watering Plan 2020–21 | 255

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