2 Mar 2022
By LOUIS MAYFIELD
The Goolwa to Wellington Local Action Planning Association (GWLAP) will receive over $91,000 to treat 68ha of weeds and protect 12ha of riverbank from erosion in the Eastern Mt Lofty Ranges.
The grant funding will be supplied under the Federal Government's $20m Murray Darling Healthy Rivers Program, which helps communities deliver projects to protect rivers and wetlands.
The project will be undertaken by six community groups which have joined forces with the GWLAP to form the Eastern Fleurieu Community Environment Alliance.
Regional areas including Angus River, Prospect Hill, Finniss River, Ash Cox Scrub and Bullock Hill Conservation Park will benefit from the program.
GWLAP community engagement officer Jacqui Wilson said the funding would allow the group to source experienced contractors to tackle weeds in difficult areas that can't be removed by volunteers alone.
"It's a great use of funds, we will get the tough weeds out of the way and then the volunteers can come in after and ensure the weeds can't come back," she said.
"It is really difficult to manage higher impact weeds such as blackberries and ash and willow, they are big weeds in inaccessible areas which are tough for volunteers to remove."
Ms Wilson said it was great to see groups working together towards the common goal of achieving better environment outcomes for the region.
"All the groups have embraced the alliance and I'm really proud of what we've achieved."
SA Senator Andrew McLachlan said the grants would support the health of river systems in the seat of Mayo.
"River flows are essential to sustain our precious environment and it is critical at this time to invest in doing all that we can to protect our natural inheritance," he said.
"They will also provide economic opportunities for our communities as local businesses will be advantaged by the funds spent by recipients."
Another grant of $39,540 will go towards installing fencing to protect and improve the Mt Barker Creek tributaries.
This will be undertaken by farmers at St Ives, and is part of ongoing work to restore overgrazed creek front along the Mt Barker Creek.
Farmers will use grazing-exclusion fencing to reduce erosion and encourage native plants to regenerate, in turn improving habitat for native fish and bird species.