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Funding flows to reconnect Gwydir watercourse country

Funding has been made available for crucial projects that will secure the health of iconic sites in the Gwydir Valley.
Published: 04 August 2022

A range of works to get water for the environment onto previously unreachable wetlands in the Gwydir valley will soon be underway.

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) recently announced $32.2 million in funding to deliver 3 environmental projects in the Gwydir to improve river and wetland health.

The funding means New South Wales can begin work on 78 on-ground measures that will help deliver water for the environment in the Gwydir valley more effectively than ever before.

While the health and resilience of the wetlands have bounced back with recent deliveries of water for the environment, some valuable environmental assets have previously remained out of reach. In some instances, water was unable to reach the extremities of certain areas, or reach them at the key times needed for wetland plants and animals to complete their lifecycles.

These projects provide much greater flexibility to water managers working with local landholders to establish environmental water corridors in the Gwydir catchment. They will construct, modify and in some cases remove physical constraints increasing the efficiency of environmental water delivery.

The timing and duration of water deliveries will then better match the wetlands’ requirements. More water will reach the downstream Ramsar-listed wetlands, and watercourses and rivers will be reconnected. This will mean better outcomes for birds, fish and native plants, not to mention local communities.

The 3 projects received overwhelmingly positive feedback from hundreds of community members, local landholders, and Traditional Owners from the local Gomeroi community.

“Continuing engagement and involvement will play a critical role in the success of this proposal,” explained Rachel Connell, the Head of Division (Water) at DCCEEW. “New South Wales will continue to make sure stakeholders are consulted and involved in the projects to ensure a fair, equitable and transparent process is adopted to deliver the 3 projects.”

The funding for the Gwydir Constraints Measures Projects forms part of the $180 million Northern Basin Toolkit, a collection of projects where the Australian Government has partnered with the New South Wales and Queensland Governments to improve ecological and community outcomes in the north of the Murray–Darling Basin.

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