Plantation partnership to improve Gellibrand River health

The planting site upstream of the Gellibrand River, showing healthy regrowth of native reeds.

Corangamite Catchment Management Authority has partnered with Midway Plantations to improve the health of the Gellibrand River. Over 7,000 native trees, shrubs and grasses have been planted on a Yuulong property owned by the plantation company, which is Australia’s largest woodfibre processer and exporter.

The planting site is on a floodplain where two tributaries of the Gellibrand River meet. When EstuaryWatch volunteers recorded high sediment loads downstream of the floodplain after rain, Corangamite CMA’s Gene Gardiner worked with Midway Plantations to fence and revegetate the watercourses running through the property.

“We’ve planted native reeds that will slow water runoff and reduce the amount of sediment reaching the river,” Mr Gardiner said.

“The plants also draw up nutrients that would otherwise be carried into the river and increase the risk of algal blooms. New fencing is keeping out livestock that used to graze in the watercourse, and already it is looking much healthier.”

Midway Plantations have also completed remedial works on other properties upstream, which will further reduce the amount of sediment reaching the Gellibrand River.