Three members of the GLaWAC NRM crew are standing inside the exclusion plot with EGCMA Works Coordinator Peter Brookes, ready to plant seedlings.

The Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation NRM crew have been working with the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority to undertake rehabilitation works on the banks of the Mitchell River in Bairnsdale.

Five fenced plots have been created to protect young seedlings from browsing by wombats and rabbits as part of the Lower Mitchell Rehabilitation Project focusing on improving the health of the river from Glenaladale Road to the Princes Hwy Bridge.

Establishing native vegetation will help to stabilise the river bank, reducing the effects of flood damage including erosion and the movement of sediment downstream to the Gippsland Lakes.

This project is funded by the Victorian State Government as part of $222 million committed to improving the health of waterways and catchments in Victoria.

The lower Mitchell River was a hub of activity last weekend as the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (EGCMA) hosted a community paddle around Picnic Point.

After welcome rain the night before, paddlers travelled 5km downstream to the Picnic Point Reserve where they enjoyed a well earned picnic lunch.

Sean Phillipson, Operations Manager at the EGCMA, spoke about the history of the river and its importance for the health and wellbeing of the community. “The Mitchell River plays a vital role in supporting the local economy through provision of irrigation and town water and as a major destination for visitors and locals alike. People enjoy walking or riding bikes along the banks of the river, swimming,  paddling, fishing or simply relaxing and taking in the scenery. It’s nice to be able to provide an opportunity for our community to experience the river from the water.”

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