World Wetlands Day 2001: Australia


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Morwell River Wetlands

We will be celebrating Word Wetland Day 2001 in the Latrobe Valley region of southern Victoria, Australia on 2/2/2001 with a public inspection and lunch at the developing Morwell River Wetlands. See attached advertisement and photo.

This project is coordinating several wetland developments and aims to re-establish wetlands similar to those that existed in this area prior to European settlement over 100 years ago.

The attached strategy has been developed by members and supporters including industry, local and state government as well as interested community groups and individuals.

Kevin Brown
Environmental Engineer
Yallourn Energy Pty Ltd

World Wetlands Day
Friday 2nd February, 2001
Come and celebrate the development of our Morwell River Wetlands.

The Morwell River Wetlands Committee invites you to a free light lunch, refreshments and site tour from 11.00am – 2.00 pm.

How to get there:
Turn off the Princes Freeway onto the Morwell Thorpdale Rd (Strzlecki Highway). Meet at the cattleyards entrance to the Wetlands 400m from the roundabout.

Contact details:
For further information and to register please contact Dale Simmons, West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority. Ph: 51 757800 Mob: 0409 436 059

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Morwell River Wetlands:

 …The Restoration of an Icon…

Before European settlement, the Morwell River provided a major floodplain tributary of the LaTrobe River and the Gippsland Lakes. A major wetland area extended from the confluence with the LaTrobe River, as far upstream as Boolarra.

Over time, the wetlands associated with the river have been eaten away by land development and river diversions that have been built in less than an environmentally friendly way.

The opportunity now exists to coordinate several projects along the Morwell River. The result could see wetlands re-established similar to those which existed prior to European habitation.

… Recreating the Morwell River Wetlands …

Key Area



Re – creation of habitat

  • Create a sustainable diverse wetland with an appropriate native flora and fauna.
  • Re – create the wetlands with a concept of pre-European habitation.
  • Create an environment to support terrestrial and aquatic species, thereby improving river health and enhancing stream integrity.
  • Improve the water quality of the Morwell and LaTrobe Rivers, downstream wetlands and the Gippsland Lakes
  • Identify and plant species of plants indigenous to the area before European settlement.
  • Identify the faunal species to be attracted to the wetland.
  • Identify the habitat, shelter and food chain requirements of the above faunal species.
  • Include sufficient space for sub-shrub, ground covers and herbs.
  • Source seed for local provenance, and nurseries able to supply suitable plants, and seedlings, or to on grow cuttings.
  • Integrate a development plan for each site with an overall plan (plant out completely with its diversity of plants, or, plant species of one type on each nominated site, in a cycle).
  • Prepare a development timetable.
  • Identify procedures for, and control pest species.

Community involvement

  • Enhance the Community’s outlook of the importance of our wetlands as part of the eco-system
  • Encourage the involvement of community groups in the building and maintenance of the wetland
  • Target Schools, Community service groups (Apex, Lions, Rotary), Industry, and specialist groups such as Field Naturalists, Field & Game Association, Fly Fishers Association, local Council.
  • Link as a place to visit (park/picnic/walks/BBQ etc)
  • Signage from highway
  • Tourism Victoria
  • Recruitment drive for volunteers
  • Establish a "Friends of the Morwell Wetlands" group


  • Develop the wetland into an interactive project, enabling the study and monitoring of a wetland ecosystem.
  • Utilise the wetland as an educational tool and model for primary, secondary and tertiary studies
  • Establish information and understanding of wetlands into the broader community


  • Create a day visitors centre as a major part of the education program
  • Target schools, media
  • Run feature articles and promote significant events
  • Establish literature on the Morwell River wetlands
  • Establish a Web site database on the Morwell River wetlands
  • Establish links to related data sources and organisations

Management of the asset



  • Develop sustainable management plans for the wetlands.
  • Seek sponsorship of wetlands projects
  • To promote the wetlands and recognise the champions who have supported their development and maintenance
  • Develop sponsorships for identifiable areas of the wetlands, or for a project/activity.
  • Create a commercial focus with the employees of a specific business to build & maintain a feature
  • Boardwalks
  • Plantings
  • Maintenance
  • Facilities

Detailed Management Plans for each of the above areas are currently under development.

How to be involved:

Join in the activities promoted in the local media:
Planting days
Maintenance activities
Volunteer to undertake specific tasks
Join the Committee or the Friends group

Contact the Morwell River Wetlands Committee at:

PO Box 1744
Traralgon 3844

The Morwell River Wetlands Committee is a cooperative group overseeing and coordinating the outcomes with regard to wetlands of various current projects impacting on the lower floodplain of the Morwell River.

Members and supporters include:

West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority
Hazelwood Power
Yallourn Energy
Gippsland Water
Environment Protection Authority (Vic)
Geo-Eng Australia Pty Ltd
Field & Game Australia Gippsland
City of Latrobe
WaterWatch Gippsland
Monash University Gippsland Student Union Environment Association
Latrobe Valley Field Naturalists Club (Inc)
Several individual community members

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