November 21, 2022

UPDATE - the Barwon River in Geelong has been re-opened for public access. More information can be found here.

The recent high rainfall and ongoing flooding has led to significant damage to paths and facilities beside the Barwon River in Geelong. The clean-up has commenced and is ongoing as the facilities are assessed for damage, mud and debris removed from walking and cycling paths, and infrastructure repaired.

All access to the Barwon River in Geelong is currently closed due to public health and safety concerns.

On Thursday the 17th of November, Maritime Safety Victoria issued an exclusion zone declaration prohibiting all public access to the Barwon River between the elongation of Orana Road, Highton, and the Lower Breakwater (at Reedy Lake, Moolap) effective until 12.00pm on the 17th of December. (Click here to view the declaration)

The Barwon River has been above minor flood level for prolonged periods over the last two months.  Today, the river is back at the minor flood level over 2.3 and rising.

To protect the public, all access to the river is currently closed. The Corangamite CMA asks the public to please avoid accessing the river and not to attempt to use walking and cycling tracks, public reserves, and recreational areas around the river until water recedes and the area can be cleaned up.

The Barwon River catchment and upper tributaries have experienced much higher than average rainfall over the past couple of months. The Upper Barwon, Leigh and Moorabool Rivers all flow into the Barwon River through Geelong. Gauges in Forrest, Ballarat, Meredith, and Ballan all measured record highs for October rainfall. The river in Geelong has repeatedly reached moderate flood levels over the past few weeks, and last week the Bureau of Meteorology has issued another moderate flood warning for the Barwon River.

There has been some community concern around bacteria within the waterway.  The Corangamite CMA are currently testing for enterococci, which is a microbial indicator for recreational water quality under the National Health and Medical Research Council Guidelines for Managing Risks in Recreational Water (2008). We will advise the public when it is safe to open the river for recreational use.

The prolonged and repeated inundation has impacted the safety of the river side recreational areas (walking tracks, cycling tracks, platforms, landings, access roads and carparks). Until the area dries out completely, restoration works to ensure the area is safe for community access cannot commence.

The Corangamite CMA understands that the Barwon River is an important recreational corridor for the local community and will be working as quickly as possible to restore safe access when flood waters recede.

The Corangamite CMA reminds all river users of the current Vic Emergency message - Floodwater is dangerous. Stay safe by never entering floodwater.

Contact Us

Colac Office

64 Dennis Street, Colac VIC 3250
PO Box 159, Colac, VIC 3250
Hours: 8:30am – 5pm, Monday to Friday

T: 1800 002 262

Geelong office

Hours: 8:30am – 5pm, Monday to Friday
All mail must be sent via our Colac office
PO Box 159, Colac, VIC 3250

T: 1800 002 262