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5.5.3 Broken wetlands
System overview
Of some 2,000 natural wetlands in the Goulburn Broken area, only three in the Broken catchment have infrastructure that allow them to receive environmental water: Black Swamp, Kinnairds Wetland and Moodie Swamp. Kinnairds Wetland and Black Swamp are red gum swamps near Numurkah. Moodie Swamp is a cane grass wetland adjacent to upper Broken Creek at Waggarandall that provides excellent breeding habitat for brolga.
The water regimes of these wetlands are influenced by
their position in the landscape. The development and operation of the Shepparton 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 under existing agreements, irrigation deliveries have priority within the channel system. This limits the volume of water that can be delivered to the wetlands.
Environmental values
Moodie Swamp, Kinnairds Wetland and Black Swamp support a high diversity of vegetation communities
ranging from river red gum to cane grass dominated. 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.
Environmental watering objectives in the Broken wetlands
1 Ecological vegetation classes are the standard unit for classifying vegetation types in Victoria. They are described through a combination of floristics, lifeforms and ecological characteristics and through a presumed association to particular environmental attributes. Each ecological vegetation class includes a collection of floristic communities (which is a lower level in the classification) that occurs across a biogeographic range, and although differing in species, have similar habitat and ecological processes operating.
Traditional Owner cultural values and uses
Goulburn Broken CMA consulted with the Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation during the planning of environmental water deliveries in the Broken wetlands. Yorta Yorta confirmed support for the environmental watering actions proposed and will continue to collaborate with Goulburn Broken CMA to identify opportunities for environmental water management to support Yorta Yorta cultural values.
Social, recreational and economic values and uses
In planning the potential watering actions in Table 5.5.5, Goulburn Broken CMA considered how environmental flows could support values and uses including riverside recreation and amenity (such as walking, photography and birdwatching).
5.5 Broken system
   Increase and improve the growth of native wetland plant species consistent with the ecological vegetation class1 benchmarks
Reduce the cover and diversity of exotic plant species
Maintain populations of rigid water milfoil and slender water milfoil
    Provide breeding habitat for waterbirds
Provide feeding and roosting habitat for waterbirds
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