A range of local voices have declared the need to protect the Gellibrand River so that it continues to play a vital role in the lives of the Otway Ranges and Western District communities, a study released today has shown.
The study, Your River: the Gellibrand River, was carried out by Environment Victoria and profiles a range of people who live, work and play in Gellibrand catchment.
Leonie Duncan, Environment Victoria’s Healthy Rivers Campaigner, said the study revealed how a diverse range people throughout the Gellibrand catchment recognise the need to speak up for the river system they love and depend on and who take practical action to care for its health.
“The Gellibrand is considered to be one of the State’s more healthy rivers. It flows through impressive pockets of native forest in the upper catchment and nourishes the habitat of Victoria’s best population of River Blackfish – a very popular catch for anglers,” Ms Duncan said.
“But increasing extractions for urban and rural use are placing major pressure on the river. Water supplies for Warrnambool, Colac and many other towns in the Western District are all sourced from the Gellibrand, yet not everyone realises the pressure their water use has on this important river and the life it supports.
“Many people who live in the Gellibrand catchment are worried by the loss of wetlands in the upper reaches and fish deaths in the estuary caused by low river flows. But there is reason to hope for the future as more and more people become aware of the need to take care of this precious waterway.”