Unlocking Water Wisdom

EGCMA Staff Kim Allan, Bridget Potts and Bryce Watts-Parker at the Beechworth

Three East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (CMA) staff travelled over the mountain to attend the 23rd Wise Waterways Workshop in Beechworth.

The workshop ran over five days, and staff heard from industry leaders, undertook practical fieldwork and finished off with a team presentation.

Topics included geomorphic processes of rivers whereby rivers are shaped by flowing water and floods, including erosion, sediment transport, and deposition. This process continually reshapes the landscape by carving channels, sculpting riverbanks, and influencing the formation of river and stream features.

What works and what doesn’t work in river rehabilitation was discussed. This included key solutions for long-term bank stability of using native plants to strengthen riverbanks, rock beaching, introducing pile fields, rock chutes and utilising timber and other natural materials to stabilise streams.

Keeping communities updated and informed about river health work is extremely important, particularly during emergencies such as fires and floods. The keynote speaker, Jamie Simmonds, Principal Consultant at Water Technology and from Queensland University, discussed the management and responses to the major flood events in Grantham and Lismore communities.

A significant workshop component was collaborating with other river health managers from organisations in Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania and Queensland.

Bec Hemming, East Gippsland CMA’s CEO, said, “We pride ourselves as an industry leader in catchment management, and we ensure that our staff have access to training that ensures they increase and expand their knowledge.”

Thirty-five attendees were split into five groups at the workshop and given a site to assess and report on how they would manage the site and present it back to the cohort. The team presentations were judged by industry and community experts. Our staff captained two of the teams.

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout East Gippsland and pay our respects to them, their culture and their Elders past and present.