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LAUNCHING KITJARRA-DJA-BUL BULLARTO LANGI-UT

April 26, 2022

This week saw the Fyansford Common come alive with a Welcome to Country, smoking ceremony and Wadawurrung storytelling, as the Kitjarra-dja-bul Bullarto langi-ut- Place of many stories project and masterplan development was launched.

Kitjarra-dja-bul Bullarto langi-ut is an initiative to increase the visitor experience of the unique environmental, cultural, and recreational values of the Barwon and Moorabool Rivers and is one of the actions supported by the Victorian Government through the Rivers of the Barwon (Barre Warre Yulluk) Action Plan.

The project encompasses an extensive corridor of river frontage on Wadawurrung Country, including the internationally recognised Lake Connewarre wetlands and the spectacular Barwon River estuary. Kitjarra- dja-bul Bullarto langi-ut is the Wadawurrung name for the project previously known as the Barwon River Parklands. 

The project name Kitjarra-dja-bul Bullarto langi-ut was assigned by Wadawurrung Traditional Owners translating to “places of many stories”.  The logo was developed by Wadawurrung artist Chloe Chatterton through a process run by the Wadawurrung Traditional Owner Aboriginal Corporation. 

In Chloe’s words “The Barwon and Moorabool Rivers were used as ‘highways’ and gathering places for our Old People to tell our Stories. My art shows how the rivers were used to connect our People, tell our stories and how the rivers cared for our Dja. The two hands represent the healing of our Country.”  

Caption: Left to right- Darren Cheeseman MP, Uncle Bryon Wadawurrung Elder, Cath Jenkins CCMA Chair, John Riddiford CCMA CEO, Christine Cousens MP

The natural assets of project area and its ongoing enjoyment are increasingly under threat from rapid growth in population, tourism pressures and changes in environmental conditions. Alongside these threats, fragmented management across the Kitjarra-dja-bul Bullarto langi-ut complicates and delays efforts of responsible bodies to implement improvements to visitor experience, connectivity, and natural amenity.

The project is a partnership between the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, Corangamite CMA, along with a number of state government agencies and local governments.

The Masterplan is an opportunity to increase amenity and public access to the unique environmental, cultural, and recreational values along this important river corridor.

There are 36 priority waterways in Victoria that have been identified by waterway managers as the focus of 30-year plus large-scale projects. Initial investment in 10 flagship waterway projects has targeted outcomes for riparian habitat, water for the environment, and recreational and cultural values.

The Barwon River was added to Victoria’s flagship waterways, with funding allocated across four projects. Kitjarra- dja-bul Bullarto langi-ut is one of these projects with $1,650,000 in funding being provided from the Victorian Government for the development and partial implementation of the masterplan.

Quotes attributable to Sarah Eccles - Wadawurrung Traditional Owner and Gobata dja officer - Caring for country officer.

 “Our yulluks (waterways) are the spine of Wadawurrung dja (country). A living entity and the source of all life. This partnership will provide a way to care for our yulluks and keep them healthy for all that depend on them, now and for future generations.” 

Quotes attributable to Chair Corangamite CMA Cath Jenkins

 “The Kitjarra-dja-bul Bullarto langi-ut project covers an important complex of rivers and wetlands that support an enormous diversity of plants and animals, and its only by working together we can plan for and manage this area to support active use along with the protection of the environment.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville

 “The Barwon and Moorabool rivers hold great importance for our local community, never has it been more critical to look at how we can protect the natural environment that benefits our community and overall well-being.”

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