Delivering Integrated Catchment Management for the Gellibrand  


The Gellibrand River is the backbone of the Otways, supporting life, primary industry and recreation activities. The values include a designated water supply catchment, threatened species, significant ecological vegetation communities, cultural values and diverse recreational activities. The threats to these values include grazing pressures on riparian zones and water quality, impacts of the likelihood of increasing natural disasters associated to flood and fire under a changing climate, reduction in flows over the summer months due to extraction as well as pest plant and animal (willow and fox).

The Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CMA) has had a long history of working with community groups, landowners, government agencies, universities and agricultural industries in improving the health of this river system.


The Delivering Integrated Catchment Management for the Gellibrand Project aims to improve the waterway health of the Gellibrand River by building on past work to create a more targeted integrated catchment management approach that will enable leveraging, knowledge sharing and co-ordination of priority actions. The development of a waterway health plan with key stakeholders will inform the ongoing investment within the Gellibrand that covers the designated Water Supply catchment, major tributaries estuary. This will be achieved through on-ground works, community engagement and an Environmental Water Reserve Officer (EWRO) working with Wannon Water to improve environmental flows.

This project covers the priority reaches within Gellibrand catchment area including the Designated Water Supply Catchment, priority tributaries (Chapple, Sandy, Carlisle, Gum Gully, Love, Kennedys), and the Gellibrand estuary.

This project is funded by the Victorian Government under the fifth tranche of the Environmental Contribution.

Current Projects

A catchment planning process, based on INFERR prioritisation is be undertaken to develop a Waterway Health Plan for the Gellibrand catchment, in collaboration with various stakeholders including West Vic Dairy, Ag Vic, Heytsbury District Landcare Network, Central Otways Landcare Network Barwon and Wannon Water, Eastern Maar.

Once finalised, the Plan will outline priorities for future action by Corangamite CMA and other stakeholders and help enable additional funds to be leveraged for on ground management into the future.

Field officers, in collaboration with Heytesbury District Landcare Network and Central Otways Landcare Network, will monitor past on-ground works sites with the priority being past willow project sites, to ensure management agreements are being maintained.

New landholder incentives will become available, and education and incentives will be targeted to land managers and community groups to undertake on-ground riparian restoration works, supported by one-on-one landholder engagement for project negotiation, ongoing management advice and education on riparian management.

Education and access to Country for Traditional Owners will be negotiated with landholders at 2 sites, further details to come.

Citizen Science aims to maintain and improve the connections between people and their local waterways. This is undertaken through diverse hands-on activities, such as monitoring water quality, photopoint monitoring at key sites, or e-DNA sampling.

The citizen science program is critical to engagement and awareness of volunteers, school groups and Traditional owner groups within the Gellibrand Catchment, and the data collected will help inform project delivery within the catchment.

Find out more about Citizen Science here.

Maintaining the active EstuaryWatch group for the Gellibrand is critical to understanding the impacts of the catchment activities as well as estuary openings, and the citizen science work through Waterwatch strengthens our community partnerships with Landcare Networks and Eastern Maar Traditional Owners.

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

55-67 Ryrie Street, Geelong VIC 3220
Hours: 8:30am – 5pm, Monday to Friday

T: 1800 002 262