GOULBURN BROKEN WETLANDS

GOULBURN BROKEN WETLANDS

GOULBURN BROKEN WETLANDS

Goulburn Broken Wetlands GOULBURN BROKEN WETLANDS Seasonal Watering Proposal 2017-2018

GOULBURN BROKEN WETLANDS

Goulburn Broken Wetlands i Publication details Published by: Jo Wood Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority PO Box 1752, Shepparton 3632 © Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority, 2017. Please cite this document as: GB CMA (2017). Goulburn Broken Wetlands Seasonal Watering Proposal 2017- 2018. Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority, Shepparton. Disclaimer: This publication may be of assistance to you, but the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority does not guarantee that the publication is without flaw of any kind or is wholly appropriate for your particular purposes and therefore disclaims all liability for any error, loss or other consequences which may arise from you relying on information in this publication.

It should be noted that specific reference to funding levels in this strategy are for indicative purposes only. The level of Government investment in this plan is contingent on budgets and government priorities. For further information, please contact: Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority P.O. Box 1752, Shepparton 3632 Phone: (03) 5822 7700 Website: www.gbcma.vic.gov.au

GOULBURN BROKEN WETLANDS

Goulburn Broken Wetlands ii EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This proposal identifies the environmental water requirements of seven wetlands in the Goulburn Broken Catchment in 2017-2018 under a range of climatic scenarios to protect, enhance or maintain their environmental values and health.

The seven wetlands covered by this proposal are: Black Swamp; Doctors Swamp; Kinnairds Wetland; Moodie Swamp; Gaynor Swamp; Stockyard Plain and Reedy Swamp. Gaynor Swamp and Stockyard Plain have not been included in previous proposals.

Key stakeholders including Park Victoria, Goulburn-Murray Water, the Victorian Environmental Water Holder and the Goulburn Broken Wetland Technical Reference Group and Goulburn Broken Wetland Management Group were consulted during the development of this proposal. Key stakeholders will continue to be consulted during the implementation of the proposal and any water deliveries that may occur also. Community groups and the wider public will be informed of environmental water delivery decisions and outcomes during the implementation of the proposal consistent with the Goulburn Broken Environmental Water Communication Action Plan.

The Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority Board was also consulted during the development of the proposal and its priorities. Difficulties in obtaining meeting times with Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation means the group were consulted after the proposal was finalised. The wetlands covered by this proposal did not receive any environmental water in 2016-2017. Natural flooding in late winter/ early spring of 2016 filled the wetlands to full supply/ flood level. Summer rainfall events kept the wetlands topped up over the warmer months, keeping them wet until early autumn 2017.

All priority watering actions for wetlands in 2016-2017 were met from natural flooding events. The wetlands responded well to the natural flooding events with some flora and fauna species recorded at the sites for the first time. These species included: Sloanes Froglet at Doctors Swamp; Blue-billed Duck and Myriophylum simulans at Moodie Swamp; and Freckled Duck at Black Swamp.

Due to this flooding Black Swamp, Doctors Swamp, Kinnairds Wetland, Moodie Swamp and Reedy Swamp exceeded their maximum wetting regimes and entered into a prolonged wetting phase. Priorities for 2017-2018 are to promote the desired drying periods for Black Swamp, Doctors Swamp, Kinnairds Wetland, Moodie Swamp and Reedy Swamp. Currently Black Swamp and Kinnairds wetland are dry, Doctors Swamp, Moodie Swamp and Reedy Swamp are still holding water. Water may be delivered to Moodie Swamp in autumn 2018 if the desired drying period has been met. Gaynor Swamp and Stockyard Plain are currently dry and may receive environmental water in autumn 2018.

Key risks associated with the proposed delivery of environmental water to all seven wetlands in the Goulburn Broken Catchment include: the resource manager being unable to deliver the required flow rates; improving conditions for non-native species; and the environmental water account being overdrawn. Additional site specific risks include: works on the delivery channel at Gaynor Swamp not being completed in time for the proposed environmental water delivery in autumn 2018; and not receiving the necessary private landholder approval to deliver environmental water to Stockyard Plain.

GOULBURN BROKEN WETLANDS

Goulburn Broken Wetlands iii Environmental water required to support the 2017-2018 are shown in the summary table below.

The maximum amount of water required is approximately 2500ML under a Drought-Dry scenario under Priority 3. This assumes works have been conducted at Gaynor Swamp in time for delivery of water and adjoining landowners to Stockyard Plain are in agreeance of the delivery of environmental water to the site. Drought Scenario – Dry Scenario Average to Wet Scenario WETLAND ENVIRONMENTAL OBJECTIVES AREA (Ha) PRIORITY 1 Volume required for April-May 2018 PRIORITY 2 Volume required for AprilMay 2018 PRIORITY 3 Volume required for AprilMay 2018 PRIORITY 1 Volume required for April-May 2018 PRIORITY 2 Volume required for AprilMay 2018 PRIORITY 3 Volume required for April-May 2018 Moodie Swamp Maintain diversity of native wetland flora consistent with cane-grass EVC and maintain populations of Rigid Water Milfoil and Slender Water Milfoil.

Provide opportunities for waterbird breeding especially Brolga.

180 NA 500 NA 500 300ML - This is under the assumption that the wetland will have received some natural inflows. Gaynor Swamp Improve the diversity of native wetland flora species consistent with the mosaic of EVCs and maintain habitat for waterbird refugia and breeding. 303 NA 1000 NA 500 ML - This is under the assumption that the wetland will have received some natural inflows. Stockyard Plain Improve the diversity of native wetland flora species consistent with the mosaic of EVCs and maintain habitat for waterbird refugia and breeding. 16.5 NA 1000 NA 500ML - This is under the assumption that the wetland will have received some natural inflows.

Doctors Swamp To maintain the diversity of native wetland flora species consistent with Red Gum Swamp and Plains Grassy Wetland EVCs. Provide opportunities for waterbird breeding. 200 NA 500 * This would be a partial fill NA 500 300ML This would be a partial fill. Totals Wetlands to remain dry – dependent on how long they hold water from 2016 floods. 500 ML 2500 ML Wetlands to remain dry – dependent on how long they hold water from 2016 floods 500 ML 1600 ML

GOULBURN BROKEN WETLANDS

Goulburn Broken Wetlands iv CONTENTS Executive summary . ii Glossary and acronyms . vii Introduction and system overview ___ 1
Introduction ___ 1
Purpose ___ 1
System Overview ___ 1
Black Swamp ___ 4
Doctors Swamp ___ 6
Gaynor Swamp ___ 8
Kinnairds Wetland ___ 9
Moodie Swamp ___ 11
Reedy Swamp ___ 13
Stockyard Plain ___ 16
Engagement ___ 18
Shared Benefit Considerations ___ 21
Environmental Objectives and Flow Recommendations ___ 22
Seasonal Review ___ 27
2016-2017 Ecological Review ___ 27
Current Ecological Conditions ___ 29
Key Observations ___ 29
Scenario Planning ___ 32
Scenario Planning Overview ___ 32
Climatic Outlook for 2017-2018 ___ 32
Priority Watering Actions 2017-2018 ___ 33
Scenario Planning ___ 36
Shared Benefits Outcomes ___ 37
Delivery Constraints ___ 38
Increasing Knowledge ___ 39
Monitoring ___ 39
Reporting ___ 39
Knowledge Gaps and Limitations ___ 40
Risk Management ___ 40
Approval and Endorsement ___ 42
References .

GOULBURN BROKEN WETLANDS

Goulburn Broken Wetlands v Appendix ___ 44
Table 1. Listed wetland dependent fauna recorded at Black Swamp ___ 5
Table 2. Listed wetland dependent flora recorded at Black Swamp ___ 5
Table 3. Listed wetland dependent fauna recorded at Doctors Swamp ___ 7
Table 4. Listed wetland dependent flora recorded at Doctors Swamp ___ 7
Table 5. Listed wetland dependent fauna recorded at Gaynor Swamp ___ 8
Table 6. Listed wetland dependent flora recorded at Gaynor Swamp ___ 8
Table 7. Listed wetland dependent fauna recorded at Kinnairds Wetland ___ 10
Table 8. Listed wetland dependent flora recorded at Kinnairds Wetland ___ 10
Table 9.

Listed wetland dependent species recorded at Moodie Swamp ___ 12
Table 10. Listed wetland depended flora recorded at Moodie Swamp ___ 12
Table 11. Listed wetland dependent fauna recorded at Reedy Swamp ___ 14
Table 12. Listed wetland dependent flora recorded at Reedy Swamp ___ 14
Table 13. Listed wetland dependent fauna recorded at Stockyard Plain ___ 17
Table 14. Listed wetland dependent flora recorded at Stockyard Plain ___ 17
Table 15. Seasonal watering proposal development and implementation consultation process ___ 20
Table 16. Shared benefit opportunities for Goulburn Broken Wetlands 2017-2018 ___ 21
Table 17.

Ecological and hydrological objectives for Black Swamp in the Goulburn Broken Catchment ___ 22
Table 18.Ecological and hydrological objectives for Doctors Swamp in the Goulburn Broken Catchment ___ 23
Table 19.Ecological and hydrological objectives for Gaynor Swamp in the Goulburn Broken Catchment ___ 23
Table 20. Ecological and hydrological objectives for Kinnaird Wetland in the Goulburn Broken Catchment ___ 24
Table 21. Ecological and hydrological objectives for Moodie Swamp in the Goulburn Broken Catchment ___ 25
Table 22. Ecological and hydrological objectives for Reedy Swamp in the Goulburn Broken Catchment ___ 25
Table 23.

Ecological and hydrological objectives for Stockyard Plain in the Goulburn Broken Catchment ___ 26
Table 24. Environmental water priorities under differing climate scenarios for 2016-2017 ___ 27
Table 25. Historical and predicted hydrological events in Goulburn Broken Wetlands ___ 28
Table 26. Environmental objectives for wetlands in 2017-2018 ___ 33
Table 27. Predicted water requirements for 2017-2018 ___ 34
Table 28. Scenario planning for the Goulburn Broken Catchment Wetlands 2017-2018 ___ 36
Table 29. Potential shared benefits for Goulburn Broken Wetlands for 2017-2018 ___ 37
Table 30.

Possible delivery constraints for environmental water to Goulburn Broken Wetlands 2017-2018.. ___ 38
Table 31. Risk assessment and mitigation strategies for Goulburn Broken Wetlands 2017-2018 ___ 41
Image 1. Click on the image to watch a flyover of Black Swamp in the 2016 Floods ___ 4
Image 2. Click on the image to watch a flyover of Doctors Swamp in the 2016 floods . . 6

GOULBURN BROKEN WETLANDS

Goulburn Broken Wetlands vi Image 3. Click on the image to watch a flyover of Kinnairds Wetland in the 2016 floods ___ 9
Image 4. Click on the image to watch a flyover of Moodie Swamp in the 2016 floods ___ 11
Image 5. Click on the image to watch a flyover of Reedy Swamp in the 2016 floods ___ 13
Image 6. Click on the image to watch a flyover of Stockyard Plain in the 2016 floods ___ 16
Image 7. Dusky Moorhen nest at Moodie Swamp November 2016 (J. Wood GB CMA ___ 29
Image 8. Myriophyllum simulans at Moodie Swamp January 2017 (J. Wood GB CMA ___ 30
Image 9. A Brown Tree Creeper and fledglings (K.

Ward GB CMA ___ 31
Image 10. A field of Billy Buttons at Doctors Swamp (J. Wood GB CMA ___ 31
Image 11. Rainfall and temperature outlook - April/June 2017 (Image courtesy of BOM ___ 32
Image 12. Current and historic water storage levels for Lake Eildon ___ 32
Graph 1. Red line indicates flows of over 20,000ML in the Goulburn River and inundating Reedy Swamp ___ 15
Graph 2. Graphical representation of priority watering requirements for 2017-2018 ___ 35
Figure 1. Goulburn and Broken Wetlands that currently receive environmental water ___ 2
Figure 2.Goulburn Wetlands with the addition of Gaynor Swamp and Stockyard Plain .

GOULBURN BROKEN WETLANDS

Goulburn Broken Wetlands vii GLOSSARY AND ACRONYMS Catchment Management Authority (CMA) – statutory authorities established to manage regional and catchment planning, waterways, floodplains, salinity and water quality. CMA – Catchment Management Authority Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH) – Part of the Department of the Environment) holds and manages the water entitlements purchased through the Restoring the Balance water recovery program Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) – Victorian government department responsible for protecting the environment, responding to climate change and supporting sustainable population growth.

Environmental water entitlement – an entitlement to water to achieve environmental objectives in waterways (could be an environmental entitlement, environmental bulk entitlement, water share, Section 51 licence or supply agreement). Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC 1999) – establishes a legal framework to provide for the protection and management of nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places, defined in the Act as ‘matters of national environmental significance’.

Ecological Vegetation Class (EVC) – a standard unit for classifying vegetation types in Victoria.

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (GB CMA) – statutory body established in 1997 as the peak natural resource management body in the Goulburn Broken catchment. Gigalitre (GL) – one billion (1,000,000,000) litres. Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) – a statutory corporation established under the provisions of the Victorian Water Act, managing around 70 per cent of Victoria’s stored water resources, 50 per cent of Victoria’s underground water supplies and Australia’s largest irrigation delivery network. High-reliability entitlement – legally recognised, secure entitlement to a defined share of water, as governed by the reserve policy (full allocations expected in most years).

Low-reliability entitlement – legally recognised, secure entitlement to a defined share of water, as governed by the reserve policy (full allocations are expected only in some years). Macrophytes – an aquatic plant that grows in or near water and is emergent, submergent or floating.

Megalitre (ML) – one million (1,000,000) litres. Seasonal Allocation – the volume of water allocated to a water share in a given season, expressed as a percentage of total entitlement volume. Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH) – an independent statutory body responsible for holding and managing Victorian environmental water entitlements and allocations (Victorian Water Holdings). Water entitlement – the right to a volume of water that can (usually) be stored in reservoirs and taken and used under specific conditions.

Water holdings – environmental water entitlements held by the Victorian Environmental Water Holder.

Waterway Manager – agency responsible for the environmental management of waterways (includes Catchment Management Authorities and Melbourne Water). Waterways – can include rivers, wetlands, creeks, streams, floodplains and estuaries.

GOULBURN BROKEN WETLANDS

Goulburn Broken Wetlands 1 INTRODUCTION AND SYSTEM OVERVIEW INTRODUCTION Environmental entitlements are available to be called out of storage when needed and delivered to streams or wetlands to protect and enhance environmental values and health. These entitlements are held by the Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH), the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH) and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA). Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) are responsible for determining environmental watering requirements for streams and wetlands and developing and submitting Seasonal Watering Proposals to the VEWH.

CMAs are also responsible for managing the delivery of environmental water to these sites in accordance with the VEWHs Seasonal Watering Statements.

Seasonal Watering Plans are based on each of the CMAs Seasonal Watering Proposals. The plans describe the desired environmental water use for rivers and wetlands across Victoria for the coming financial or water year. The VEWH negotiates access to environmental water managed by the CEWH and the MDBA and then prepares a Seasonal Watering Statement, authorising CMAs to undertake agreed watering activities. Where possible, the VEWH, CEWH and the MDBA coordinate delivery and management of environmental water. PURPOSE The purpose of the Goulburn Broken Wetlands Seasonal Watering Proposal is to: Identify the environmental water requirements for Black Swamp, Doctors Swamp, Gaynor Swamp, Kinnairds Wetland, Moodie Swamp, Reedy Swamp and Stockyard Plain in the coming year under a range of climatic scenarios to protect, enhance or maintain their environmental values and health.

To inform the development of environmental water priorities in the VEWHs Seasonal Watering Plan. SYSTEM OVERVIEW The Goulburn Broken Catchment extends from the northern outskirts of Melbourne to the Murray River on the NSW border and covers 204 million hectares, or 10.5 per cent of Victoria’s total land area (DNRE, 2002). Within the catchment, approximately 2000 natural wetlands have been recorded including a number of wetlands formally recognised for their conservation significance. This includes the Ramsar listed Barmah Forest, ten wetlands of national significance listed in A Directory of Important Wetlands (EA, 2001) and 111 wetlands of Bioregional Significance identified for the National Land and Water Resource Audit (CoA, 2002).

Of the natural wetlands in the catchment only six have, to date, had the ability to receive environmental water. These are Barmah Forest, Black Swamp, Doctors Swamp, Kinnairds Wetland, Moodie Swamp and Reedy Swamp (Figures 1 and 2). A separate watering plan is being written for Barmah Forest and is not considered in this proposal. Two new watering sites are being proposed for 2017-2018 environmental watering. This includes Gaynor Swamp near Corop and Stockyard Plain near Waranga Basin (Figure 2).

GOULBURN BROKEN WETLANDS

Goulburn Broken Wetlands 2 Figure 1. Goulburn and Broken Wetlands that currently receive environmental water. Image taken from VEWH Seasonal Watering Plan 2016-17

Goulburn Broken Wetlands 3 Figure 2.Goulburn Wetlands with the addition of Gaynor Swamp and Stockyard Plain Image taken from VEWH Seasonal Watering Plan 2016-17 and modified by GB CMA.

Goulburn Broken Wetlands 4 BLACK SWAMP Black Swamp is a 16.5 hectare red gum swamp managed by Parks Victoria (Image 1). Environmental water can be delivered by a channel connected to the swamp from the Nine Mile Creek.

Black Swamp is listed as bioregionally significant in the National Land and Water Resource Audit (CoA, 2002). Image 1. Click on the image to watch a flyover of Black Swamp in the 2016 Floods. Environmental flows can only be delivered to the swamp when flows in the Nine Mile Creek exceed 100ML/day (GBCMA, 2010). This regularly occurs during the irrigation season (August – May). The wetland may only receive water in wet years due to river regulation. Environmental water may be called upon to enhance natural inundation events or during dry periods if the wetland undergoes prolonged drying to ensure the success of bird breeding events or to provide optimal growth conditions for water dependent vegetation such as the EPBC (1999) listed River Swamp Wallaby-grass (Amphibromus fluitans).

Black Swamp also meets a number of criteria under Schedule 8 of the Basin Plan – Criteria for identifying an environmental asset. This includes criteria 1b, 3a (i), 4c and 5a &b (refer to appendix 1 for criteria description).

Goulburn Broken Wetlands 5 Black Swamp provides habitat for a wide variety of aquatic and terrestrial fauna and flora species. To date 67 wetland dependent species have been recorded at the site. Of these species 14 are listed as threatened (see table 1), including Freckled Duck (Stictonetta naevosa), which was recorded at the swamp for the first time in December 2016. Table 1. Listed wetland dependent fauna recorded at Black Swamp. Common Name Scientific Name EPBC FFG VROTS Australasian Bittern Botaurus poiciloptilus Endangered Listed Endangered Australasian Shoveler Anas rhynchotis Vulnerable Australian Little Bittern Ixobrychus dubius Listed Endangered Balions Crake Porzana pusilla Listed Vulnerable Eastern Great Egret Ardea modesta Listed Vulnerable Eastern Long-necked Turtle Chelodina longicolis Data Deficient Freckled Duck Stictonetta naevosa Listed Endangered Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus Near Threatened Hardhead Aythaya australis Vulnerable Intermediate Egret Ardea intermedia Listed Critically Endangered Magpie Goose Anseranas semipalmata Listed Near Threatened Nankeen Night Heron Nycticorax caledonicus Near Threatened Royal Spoonbill Platalea regia Vulnerable White-bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster Listed Vulnerable Flora at Black Swamp is diverse with 76 wetland dependent species having been recorded since 2008.

Only four species listed as threatened have been recorded at Black Swamp and are shown in table 2. Black Swamp contains a significant population of the EPBC (1999) listed River swamp Wallaby-grass (Amphibromus fliutans) which emerges in autumn. Water Nymph (Najas tenufolia), which is classified as Rare in Victoria was first recorded at Black Swamp in February 2016.

Table 2. Listed wetland dependent flora recorded at Black Swamp. Common Name Scientific Name EPBC FFG VROTS River Swamp Wallaby-grass Amphibromus fluitans Vulnerable Poorly Known Riverine Bitter-cress Cardmine moirensis Rare Water Nymph Najas tenuifolia Rare Winged Water-starwort Callitriche umbonata Rare

Goulburn Broken Wetlands 6 DOCTORS SWAMP Doctors Swamp is a 200 hectare red gum swamp managed by Parks Victoria (Image 2). It is listed as bioregionally significant in the National Land and Water Resource Audit (CoA, 2002) and is considered one of the most intact red gum swamps in Victoria (Cook et al., 2010).

Image 2. Click on the image to watch a flyover of Doctors Swamp in the 2016 floods. Environmental water can be delivered to the swamp via an inlet on the Cattanach Canal when it is running at 2500 ML/day or above. Flow in the Cattanach Canal is influenced by the operation of Waranga Basin. During spring flow can be inconsistent, which limits delivery opportunities. Flow is often more consistent during summer, autumn and winter providing greater delivery opportunities. The surrounding catchment is largely unmodified, so the wetland receives a near natural flood regime. Consequently, the wetland may only require environmental water during extended dry periods or to enhance natural inundation events to ensure the success of bird breeding events or to provide optimal growth conditions for water dependent vegetation.

Doctors Swamp meets a number of criteria outlined in Schedule 8 of the Basin Plan – Criteria for identifying an environmental asset. This includes criteria 1b, 2c, 4c and 5a&b (refer to appendix 1 for criteria description).

Goulburn Broken Wetlands 7 Doctors Swamp provides habitat for 55 wetland dependent fauna species. Eight of these species are listed as threatened and are shown in table 3. Table 3. Listed wetland dependent fauna recorded at Doctors Swamp. Common Name Scientific Name EPBC FFG VROTS Australasian Shoveler Anas rhynchotis Vulnerable Blue-billed Duck Oxyura australis Listed Endangered Brolga Grus rubicunda Listed Vulnerable Eastern Great Egret Ardea modesta Listed Vulnerable Hardhead Aythaya australis Vulnerable Musk Duck Bizura lobate Vulnerable Nankeen Night Heron Nycticorax caledonicus Near Threatened Royal Spoonbill Platalea regia Vulnerable Diversity of wetland dependent flora at Doctors Swamp is high with 85 species having been recorded since 2008.

Eight species are listed as threatened and are show in table 4.

Table 4. Listed wetland dependent flora recorded at Doctors Swamp. Common Name Scientific Name EPBC FFG VROTS Grey Spike Sedge Eleocharis macbarroni Poorly known Long Eryngium Eryngium paludosum Vulnerable Narrow-fruited Water-starwort Callitriche palustris Poorly known Open Marshwort Nymphoides geminate Rare Riverine Bittercress Cardamine moirensis Rare Slender Water-ribbons Triglochin dubia Rare Smooth Nardoo Marsilea mutica Poorly known

Goulburn Broken Wetlands 8 GAYNOR SWAMP Gaynor Swamp is a 303 hectare cane grass dominated wetland located 7 km south-east of Corop.

The wetland is on public land managed by Parks Victoria and is listed under A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia (EA, 2001) under the Wallenjoe Wetlands. The wetland is valued for its rarity, species diversity and waterbird habitat (GBCMA, 2012). When wet, it supports thousands of waterbirds, including international migratory species and the threatened Brolga (Grus rubicunda). A structure to facilitate the delivery of environmental water to the wetland has been designed and is expected to be constructed by autumn 2018. Gaynor Swamp is situated in a landscape that is dominated by paleo saline soils which creates increased salt levels at the site compared to other wetlands in the Goulburn Broken Catchment.

Saline water can also enter the swamp via Lake Cooper during times of flood.

Because of these higher salt concentrations, different species of fauna can be found utilising the wetland. Species such as the Red-necked Avocet (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae) have been recorded at the Swamp upon draw down when salinity levels are at their highest. Gaynor Swamp meets a number of criteria outlined in Schedule 8 of the Basin Plan – Criteria for identifying an environmental asset. This includes criteria 1b, 3b, 4c and 5a &b (refer to appendix 1 for criteria description). To date 66 wetland dependent fauna species have been recorded at Gaynor Swamp. Of these species 18 have been listed as threatened (see table 5).

Table 5. Listed wetland dependent fauna recorded at Gaynor Swamp. Common Name Scientific Name EPBC FFG VROTS Australasian Bittern Botaurus poiciloptilus Endangered Listed Endangered Australasian Shoveler Anas rhynchotis Vulnerable Australian Little Bittern Ixobrychus dubius Listed Endangered Blue-billed Duck Oxyura australis Listed Endangered Brolga Grus rubicunda Listed Vulnerable Brown Quail Coturnix ypsilophora australis Near Threatened Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia Listed Near Threatened Eastern Great Egret Ardea modesta Listed Vulnerable Freckled Duck Stictonetta naevosa Listed Endangered Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus Near Threatened Hardhead Aythaya australis Vulnerable Intermediate Egret Ardea intermedia Listed Critically Endangered Latham's Snipe Gallinago hardwickii Near Threatened Little Egret Egretta garzetta nigripes Listed Endangered Musk Duck Bizura lobata Vulnerable Royal Spoonbill Platalea regia Vulnerable Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus javanicus Near Threatened White-bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster Listed Vulnerable 54 wetland dependent flora species have been recorded at Gaynor Swamp since 2008.

Of these species only two are listed as threatened and are shown in table 6.

Table 6. Listed wetland dependent flora recorded at Gaynor Swamp. Common Name Scientific Name EPBC FFG VROTS Salt Paperbark Melaleuca halmaturorum subsp. Halmaturorum Listed Vulnerable Spiny Lignum Muehlenbeckia horrida subsp. horrida Rare

Goulburn Broken Wetlands 9 KINNAIRDS WETLAND Kinnaird Wetland is a 96 hectare red gum swamp managed by Goulburn-Murray Water and Moira Shire (Image 3). Water can be delivered to the wetland via the Murray Valley 5/3 (MV 5/3) channel which outfalls into the Muckatah Main drain and flows directly into the wetland. Image 3.

Click on the image to watch a flyover of Kinnairds Wetland in the 2016 floods. The delivery of environmental water depends upon irrigation demands and can only occur when there is spare channel capacity. Past environmental water allocations have seen agreements between Goulburn-Murray Water and the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority to allow the MV 5/3 channel to operate after the irrigation season has closed. This has allowed efficient and effective environmental water delivery to the swamp. Due to significant changes to natural flow paths in the surrounding catchment and the regulation of the Broken Creek, the wetland may only receive flood water during wet years (flooding and high rainfall).

Therefore, the wetland may require environmental water to provide a more natural flooding regime and enhance natural inundation events to ensure the success of bird breeding events or to provide optimal growth conditions for water dependent vegetation. Kinnairds wetland has a diverse number of fauna and flora species. Kinnairds Wetland meets a number of criteria outlined in Schedule 8 of the Basin Plan – Criteria for identifying an environmental asset. This includes criteria 1b, 3b, 4b&c and 5a&b (refer to appendix 1 for criteria description).

Goulburn Broken Wetlands 10 A total of 83 wetland dependent fauna species have been recorded at the site. Of these species, 19 are listed as threatened and are shown in table 7. Kinnairds Wetland is a significant wetland for Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia) breeding. Table 7. Listed wetland dependent fauna recorded at Kinnairds Wetland. Common Name Scientific Name EPBC FFG VROTS Australasian Bittern Botaurus poiciloptilus Endangered L Endangered Australasian Shoveler Anas rhynchotis Vulnerable Ballions Crake Porzana pusilla L Vulnerable Blue-billed Duck Oxyura australis L Endangered Brolga Grus rubicunda L Vulnerable Brown Quail Coturnix ypsilophora australis Near Threatened Eastern Great Egret Ardea modesta L Vulnerable Freckled Duck Stictonetta naevosa L Endangered Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus Near Threatened Hardhead Aythaya australis Vulnerable Intermediate Egret Ardea intermedia L Critically Endangered Latham's Snipe Gallinago hardwickii Near Threatened Little Egret Egretta garzetta nigripes L Endangered Magpie Goose Anseranas semipalmata L Near Threatened Nankeen Night Heron Nycticorax caledonicus Near Threatened Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax varius Near Threatened Royal Spoonbill Platalea regia Vulnerable Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus javanicus Near Threatened White-bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster L Vulnerable Wetland dependent flora at Kinnairds Wetland is diverse with a total of 85 species having been recorded at the site since 2008.

Of these species, seven are listed as threatened and are shown in table 8. Kinnairds Wetland has the largest known recorded population of the EPBC (1999) listed Rigid Water Milfoil (Myriophyllum porcatum).

Table 8. Listed wetland dependent flora recorded at Kinnairds Wetland. Common Name Scientific Name EPBC FFG VROTS Bluish raspwort Haloragis glauca f. glauca Poorly Known Rigid Water-milfoil Myriophyllum porcatum Vulnerable Listed Vulnerable Riverine Bitter-cress Cardmine moirensis Rare Slender Water-milfoil Myriophyllum gracile var. lineare Listed Endangered Small-flower Mud-mat Glossostigma cleistanthum Vulnerable Variable Spike-sedge Eleocharis minuta Endangered Winged Water-starwort Callitriche umbonata Rare

Goulburn Broken Wetlands 11 MOODIE SWAMP Moodie Swamp is a 180 hectare cane-grass wetland managed by Parks Victoria (Image 4).

It is listed under A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia (EA, 2001) as part of the Broken Creek. Image 4. Click on the image to watch a flyover of Moodie Swamp in the 2016 floods. Water can be delivered to the swamp via a water delivery channel from the upper Broken Creek. Currently Moodie Swamp has a Commonwealth Environmental Water Office schedule in place for up to 1GL for a three year period (2015-16, 16-17, 17-18) plus the ability to trade water into the Broken System can allow the VEWH or CEWH to trade volumes in to meet demands in the Broken system where available. There has been no survey or modelling of catchment conditions to determine changes to the natural frequency and duration of flooding events at Moodie Swamp.

However, it is likely the frequency and duration of flooding at Moodie Swamp has been reduced by the regulation of the Broken River and Broken Creek (SKM, 2006). Therefore, the wetland may require environmental water to provide a more natural flooding regime and enhance natural inundation events to ensure the success of bird breeding events or to provide optimal growth conditions for water dependent vegetation.

Moodie Swamp meets a number of criteria outlined in Schedule 8 of the Basin Plan – Criteria for identifying an environmental asset. This includes criteria 1b, 3b, 4a&c and 5a&b (refer to appendix 1 for criteria description).

Goulburn Broken Wetlands 12 Moodie Swamp provides important Brolga (Grus rubicunda) breeding habitat and other wetland dependent species. Since monitoring of the site began in 2008, 65 species of wetland dependent fauna have been recorded at the site. Of these species 16 are listed as threatened and are shown in table 9. The Blue-billed Duck (Oxyura australis) was first recorded at the site in December 2016.

Table 9. Listed wetland dependent species recorded at Moodie Swamp. Common Name Scientific Name EPBC FFG VROTS Australasian Bittern Botaurus poiciloptilus Endangered Listed Endangered Australasian Shoveler Anas rhynchotis Vulnerable Blue-billed Duck Oxyura australis Listed Endangered Brolga Grus rubicunda Listed Vulnerable Brown Quail Coturnix ypsilophora australis Near Threatened Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia Listed Near Threatened Eastern Great Egret Ardea modesta Listed Vulnerable Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus Near Threatened Hardhead Aythaya australis Vulnerable Intermediate Egret Ardea intermedia Listed Critically Endangered Musk Duck Bizura lobata Vulnerable Nankeen Night Heron Nycticorax caledonicus Near Threatened Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax varius Near Threatened Royal Spoonbill Platalea regia Vulnerable Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus javanicus Near Threatened White-bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster Listed Vulnerable Flora at Moodie Swamp continues to change as a more natural wetting and drying regime occurs with the assistance of environmental water.

Monitoring in 2008 indicated that Cane grass (Eragrostis infecunda) was a dominant species within the wetland. Since the wetlands watering regime has changed and it has begun to show signs of an aquatic herb land. The wetland has 42 species of wetland dependent flora and includes a large population of the EPBC (1999) listed Rigid Water Milfoil (Myriophyllum porcatum). Of these species ten are listed as threatened and are shown in table 10.

Table 10. Listed wetland depended flora recorded at Moodie Swamp. Common Name Scientific Name EPBC FFG VROTS Bluish raspwort Haloragis glauca f.glauca Poorly known Dwarf Brooklime Gratiola pumilo Rare Groundsel Senecio campylocarpus Rare In-land Club-sedge Isolepis australiensis Poorly known Rigid Water-milfoil Myriophyllum porcatum Vulnerable Listed Vulnerable Riverine Bitter-cress Cardmine moirensis Rare Slender Water-milfoil Myriophyllum gracile var. lineare Listed Endangered Slender Water-ribbons Triglochin dubia Rare Wavy Marshwort Nymphoides crenata Listed Vulnerable Winged Water-starwort Callitriche umbonata Rare

Goulburn Broken Wetlands 13 REEDY SWAMP Reedy Swamp is a 130 hectare palustrine, temporary freshwater swamp on the Goulburn River (Image 5). The site is managed by Parks Victoria and is listed under A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia (EA, 2001) as part of the Lower Goulburn River Floodplain listing. Image 5. Click on the image to watch a flyover of Reedy Swamp in the 2016 floods. Reedy Swamp meets a number of criteria outlined in Schedule 8 of the Basin Plan – Criteria for identifying an environmental asset. This includes criteria 1b, 3a&b, 4c and 5a&b (refer to appendix 1 for criteria description).

Goulburn Broken Wetlands 14 Reedy Swamp is an important colonial waterbird breeding site and drought refuge. Since monitoring began in 2008, 104 wetland dependent species have been recorded of which 24 are listed as threatened (Table 11). It is also an important stopover site for migratory birds such as Sharp-tailed (Calidris acuminata) and Marsh (Tringa stagnatilis) Sandpipers. Table 11. Listed wetland dependent fauna recorded at Reedy Swamp. Common Name Scientific Name EPBC FFG VROTS Australasian Shoveler Anas rhynchotis Vulnerable Australian Little Bittern Ixobrychus dubius Listed Endangered Ballions Crake Porzana pusilla Listed Endangered Blue-billed Duck Oxyura australis Listed Endangered Brolga Grus rubicunda Listed Vulnerable Brown Quail Coturnix ypsilophora australis Near Threatened Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia Listed Near Threatened Common Long-neck Turtle Chelodina longicolis Data Deficient Eastern Great Egret Ardea modesta Listed Vulnerable Flat-headed Galaxias Galaxias rostratus Vulnerable Freckled Duck Stictonetta naevosa Listed Endangered Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus Near Threatened Hardhead Aythaya australis Vulnerable Intermediate Egret Ardea intermedia Listed Critically Endangered Latham's Snipe Gallinago hardwickii Near Threatened Lewin’s Rail Lewinia pectoralis Listed Vulnerable Little Egret Egretta garzetta nigripes Listed Endangered Murray River Turtle Emydura macquari Vulnerable Musk Duck Bizura lobata Vulnerable Nankeen Night Heron Nycticorax caledonicus Near Threatened Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax varius Near Threatened Royal Spoonbill Platalea regia Vulnerable Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus javanicus Near Threatened White-bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster Listed Vulnerable Reedy Swamp contains a mosaic of Ecological Vegetation Classes including Tall Marsh, Floodway Pond Herbland and Rushy Riverine Swamp.

85 wetland dependent flora species have been recorded at the site since 2008. Of these species five are listed as threatened and are shown in Table 12.

Table 12. Listed wetland dependent flora recorded at Reedy Swamp. Common Name Scientific Name EPBC FFG VROTS Annual Bitter-cress Cardamine paucijuga s.l Vulnerable Groundsel Senecio campylocarpus Rare Sand Rush Juncus psammophilius Rare Small Scurf Pea Cullen parvum Endangered Listed Endangered Woolly Knotweed Persicaria lapthifolia (floccose form) Poorly known Environmental water can be delivered to Reedy Swamp via Central Goulburn Channel 12 (CG 12), which outfalls into Shepparton Drain 3. Shepparton Drain 3 can then be diverted into Reedy Swamp. The delivery of environmental water depends upon irrigation demands and can only occur when there is spare channel capacity.

Goulburn Broken Wetlands 15 Past environmental water allocations have seen agreements between Goulburn-Murray Water the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority and Parks Victoria to allow the previous delivery channel CG 19/12 to remain open after the irrigation season. This has allowed efficient and effective environmental water delivery to the swamp. Goulburn River flows sufficient to naturally inundate the swamp are approximately 20,000 ML/day (or 8.5m) (Graph 1). Natural inundation from Goulburn River into Reedy Swamp occurred twice in 2016 (Graph 1). The wetland usually requires environmental water during extended dry periods or to enhance natural inundation events to ensure the success of bird breeding events or to provide optimal growth conditions for water dependent vegetation.

Graph 1. Red line indicates flows of over 20,000ML in the Goulburn River and inundating Reedy Swamp. Graph taken from BOM water data website (www.bom.gov.au/waterdata) and modified by GB CMA.

Goulburn Broken Wetlands 16 STOCKYARD PLAIN Stockyard Plain is cane grass dominated wetland located north east of Waranga Basin and is approximately 200 hectares (Image 6). The wetland is on both public (managed by DELWP) and private land and is of bioregional significance listed under the National Land and Water Resource Audit (CoA, 2002). Image 6. Click on the image to watch a flyover of Stockyard Plain in the 2016 floods.

The wetland is valued for its rarity and waterbird habitat (DPI, 2010) When wet, it provides important breeding habitat for the threatened Brolga (Grus rubicunda). Infrastructure exists to allow the delivery of environmental water to the wetland. However, before this can occur agreements with the private landholders need to be established. Stockyard Plain meets a number of criteria outlined in Schedule 8 of the Basin Plan – Criteria for identifying an environmental asset. This includes criteria 1b, 3b, 4a&c and 5a&b (refer to appendix 1 for criteria description).

Goulburn Broken Wetlands 17 Stockyard Plain is a highly diverse site with 42 wetland depended fauna species having been recorded. Of these species, seven are listed as threatened and are shown in Table 13. Table 13. Listed wetland dependent fauna recorded at Stockyard Plain. Common Name Scientific Name EPBC FFG VROTS Australasian Bittern Botaurus poiciloptilus Endangered Listed Endangered Australasian Shoveler Anas rhynchotis Vulnerable Brolga Grus rubicunda Listed Vulnerable Eastern Great Egret Ardea modesta Listed Vulnerable Hardhead Aythaya australis Vulnerable Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax varius Near Threatened Royal Spoonbill Platalea regia Vulnerable Stockyard Plain has 40 wetland dependent flora species.

Of these species, four are listed as threatened and are shown in Table 14.

Table 14. Listed wetland dependent flora recorded at Stockyard Plain. Common Name Scientific Name EPBC FFG VROTS Rigid Water-milfoil Myriophyllum porcatum Vulnerable Listed Vulnerable River Swamp Wallaby-grass Amphibromus fluitans Vulnerable Poorly known Riverine Bitter-cress Cardmine moirensis Rare Sand Rush Juncus psammophilius Rare

Goulburn Broken Wetlands 18 ENGAGEMENT This plan was prepared by the Goulburn Broken CMA with input from the Goulburn Broken Wetland Technical Reference Group, Goulburn Broken Wetland Management Group, Goulburn-Murray Water and Parks Victoria.

The primary stakeholders that are engaged under this proposal are: Agencies involved in delivering the environmental water which includes Goulburn Murray Water, the Victorian Environmental Water Holder and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder. Relevant land managers including Parks Victoria, Goulburn-Murray Water and Moira Shire. Goulburn-Murray Water is the key delivery agency and once the final proposal for 2017-2018 is agreed, communications with Goulburn-Murray Water will be aimed at making clear what the intended environmental delivery plans are and their intended purpose. Throughout the delivery season, there will be regular communication directly with the water resource management group to organise environmental water deliveries and understand the potential delivery opportunities and constraints.

The Victorian Environmental Water Holder will use the proposal to assist with the development of the Seasonal Watering Plan 2017-2018. Water allocated is to be delivered in accordance with the plan, and if required will be used to seek agreement from other water holders for the use of their water. The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder may have allocated water to sites within the Seasonal Watering Plan, based on this proposal. Routine communication on the delivery of water under the plan will be via the Victorian Environmental Water Holder.

Parks Victoria is the land manager for all wetlands identified in this proposal with the exception of Kinnairds Wetland, which is managed by Goulburn-Murray Water and the Moira Shire and Stockyard Plain is part privately owned and partly managed by Department of Environment Land Water and Planning.

Following the approval of the proposal by the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority Board the CMA will liaise with the land managers on its content, seek their advice on its implementation and seek formal written approval from them to implement the proposal.

The secondary audience is those potentially affected by or interested in the delivery of environmental water to wetlands. This group includes wetland advisory groups and the Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation. Wetland advisory groups were consulted during the development of the seasonal watering proposal. Difficulties in obtaining meeting times with Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation means the group were consulted after the proposal was finalised. To assist with the environmental water management program, the Goulburn Broken CMA established the Goulburn and Broken Environmental Water Advisory Groups to provide advice on planning environmental water use (including seasonal watering proposals and water management plans) and on any environmental health trends occurring in the rivers, creeks and wetlands.

The group was established in April 2012 and is comprised of community members who range from differing geographic locations along the Goulburn and Broken Rivers or adjacent to wetlands. The group also includes representatives from key agency partners (such as GoulburnMurray Water). In 2017-2018 the group will be informed and consulted on the seasonal watering proposals development.

The Goulburn Broken Wetland Technical Reference Group is made up of consultants from Rakali Consulting and academia from Monash and La Trobe Universities. Wetland sites were visited by the group in January 2017 to discuss environmental water options for 2017-2018 delivery. The group assisted with the development of environmental water priorities for wetlands for 2017-2018.

Goulburn Broken Wetlands 19 The Goulburn Broken Wetland Management Group is made up of both industry and community members including Parks Victoria, Goulburn Murray Landcare Network, Goulburn-Murray Water, Moira Shire, City of Greater Shepparton, Victorian Environmental Water Holder and Yorta Yorta.

This group was informed about wetland environmental water priorities in February 2017. In addition, the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority will inform the broader community about the decision to provide environmental water to wetlands and what it is trying to achieve. The Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority will also seek to build a public understanding of how natural wetland flood regimes have changed and how we are using environmental water to improve wetland health. This will be achieved through media articles and talks directly with special interest groups and school groups.

A draft plan was also submitted to the board members of the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority on the 21st April 2017.

Table 15 outlines the consultation process the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management authority has and will undertake during the development and implementation of this seasonal water proposal. All communication activities will be undertaken in accordance with the communication and media protocols of the VEWH.

Goulburn Broken Wetlands 20 Table 15. Seasonal watering proposal development and implementation consultation process Who Engaged on the 2017- 18 seasonal watering proposal Engagement methods Engaged longer term strategies that have informed the 2017-18 seasonal watering proposal Environmental Water Management Plans Engagement Methods Regional Waterway strategy Engagement methods Program Partners Goulburn Murray Water VEWH Parks Victoria Formal advisory groups Direct engagement Goulburn Murray Water Parks Victoria Department of Sustainability and Environment (now DEWLP) Formal advisory groups Direct engagement Goulburn Murray Water Parks Victoria Department of Environment and Primary Industries (now DEWLP) Formal advisory groups Direct engagement Recreational Users Field and Game Trellys Fishing and Hunting Formal advisory groups Direct engagement Field and Game Formal advisory groups Community reference group VR Fish Goulburn Valley Association of Angling Clubs Australian Trout Foundation Trellys Tackle World Native Fish Australia Future Fish Foundation Formal advisory groups Direct engagement Environment Groups Goulburn Murray Landcare Network GVeg Turtles Australia Kinnairds Wetland Advisory Committee Formal advisory groups Goulburn Murray Landcare Network GVeg Formal advisory groups N/A N/A Landholders Land owners that adjoin wetlands that receive environmental water and use the delivery channel Direct engagement N/A N/A N/A N/A Traditional Owners Yorta Yorta Formal advisory groups Direct engagement Yorta Yorta Formal advisory groups Yorta Yorta Tangurung Clans Direct engagement Local Councils City of Greater Shepparton Moira Shire Formal advisory groups Direct engagement Moira Shire Formal advisory groups Direct engagement Mansfield Shire Council Direct engagement Consultants Rakali Consulting Direct engagement Rakali Consulting Direct engagement Riverness Direct engagement Advisory Groups Goulburn Broken Wetland Management Group Goulburn Broken Wetland Technical Reference Group Direct engagement Direct Engagement Goulburn Broken Wetland Management Group N/A Direct engagement N/A N/A N/A Student Groups Katandra West Primary School Congupna Primary School Dookie Primary School Tallygaroopna Primary School Invergordon Primary School Lemnos Primary School Direct engagement with all schools N/A N/A N/A N/A

Goulburn Broken Wetlands 21 SHARED BENEFIT CONSIDERATIONS Environmental water not only protects Victoria’s rivers and wetlands but also provides benefits for people. Environmental watering to wetlands increases opportunities for bird watching, camping, and as a food, medicinal and material source for Traditional Owners (Table 16). Shared benefit opportunities for 2017-2018 Goulburn Broken Wetlands includes: Benefits to Game licence holders providing water to Moodie Swamp in autumn 2018 provides waterbird habitat and increases camping visitation at this State Game Reserve.

Benefits to community members who enjoy birdwatching, camping and bike riding around wetlands, especially during the warmer months.

Benefits to adjoining landholders at Moodie Swamp. The connection channel from the Broken Creek to Moodie Swamp spills into “Little Swamp” on private property. This wetland provides food and shelter for waterbirds and has good environmental values which connect to Moodie Swamp. Increased flow in the Upper Broken Creek will benefit adjoining land holders by promoting instream flora to flourish in the creek which improves water quality, promotes fauna along the creek and is also aesthetically pleasing.

Traditional owners may use wetlands as food sources, material collection and for medicine plants. Table 16. Shared benefit opportunities for Goulburn Broken Wetlands 2017-2018. Who Shared benefit Game licence Holders Moodie Swamp availability to provide waterbird habitat in autumn 2018. Campers at State Game Reserves over Duck Season. Community Campers and bird watchers visiting wetlands over Spring, Summer and Autumn. Adjoining landholders Moodie swamp delivery channel spills into “Little Swamp” which is a popular feeding and breeding site for waterbirds. This is aesthetically pleasing for adjoining land holders and bird watchers.

Irrigators Increased flows in the Upper Broken Creek to Moodie Swamp beneficial to adjoining land holders aesthetically and environmentally. Traditional Owners Wetlands provide beneficial plants for medicine, food sources and materials for weaving for traditional owners. Wetlands provide faunal food sources for traditional owners such as water fowl eggs and medicinal plants.

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