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Parks Victoria joins historic group action to revive the Maribyrnong River
Thursday 26 April, 2012
An unprecedented multi-million dollar project promises to revitalise Melbourne’s Maribyrnong Valley.
Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Ryan Smith MP, launched the $3.6 million project while visiting the river and meeting with the project partners.
The initiative, which brings together 10 government and industry bodies as well as an estimated 200 local landholders, is the largest-ever collaborative environmental project in the Maribyrnong Valley.
Project co-ordinator Tim Bloomfield, from the Port Phillip and Western Port CMA, said the collaboration is a vital ingredient for the success of the project.
“The Maribyrnong River is a Melbourne landmark, but unfortunately, like any urban waterway, it has sustained damage from pollution, pest species and agriculture,” Mr Bloomfield said.
“It’s been a real achievement to get 10 partners working together on this project. The more people we get to contribute, the greater success we will have in preserving this river and its surrounds.”
The project will boost existing pest plant and animal control being undertaken by the agencies and complement Melbourne Water’s ongoing waterway improvement works on the Maribyrnong.
Over two years, the project will fund fencing along the river, revegetation, rabbit and weed control and planning for a multi-use trail from Brimbank Park to the Organ Pipes National Park.
The work will be undertaken along 82 kilometres of the river and on 32 hectares of adjoining land.
Parks Victoria’s Rocky Barca, chief ranger for the Western Melbourne District, said increased resourcing and the co-operation of neighbouring land managers would significantly help to manage pests and weeds in the Maribyrnong Valley.
“Improvement of biodiversity values remains a constant challenge for Parks Victoria due to the difficulties in controlling weeds and pests,” he said.
Mr Barca also welcomed planning to extend the Maribyrnong River Trail from Brimbank Park to the Organ Pipes National Park.
“The natural environment and biodiversity values along the Maribyrnong River shared trail enhance the visitor experience and offers escape and respite from the urban environment. The extension of this trail will increase recreational opportunities for residents and has great potential to increase tourism to the area and promote local business,” Mr Barca said.
The project – titled ‘A Meeting of the Minds to Manage the Maribyrnong’ - involves the Victorian Government, Parks Victoria, City West Water, Brimbank City Council, Port Phillip & Westernport CMA, Hume City Council, Melbourne Water, City of Moonee Valley, Melbourne Airport and Maribyrnong City Council.
The Department of Sustainability and Environment has provided $1.04 million through its Vision for Werribee Plains initiative with the other $2.5 million of funding coming from the project’s partners.
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