Minister steps in to demand Otway waterway repairs

A water campaigner has praised Water Minister Lisa Neville’s intervention to ensure Barwon Water repairs environmental damage to Otways’ waterways caused by groundwater pumping.

A water campaigner has praised Water Minister Lisa Neville’s intervention to ensure Barwon Water repairs environmental damage to Otways’ waterways caused by groundwater pumping.

But Kawarren’s Andrew McLennan says the community’s confidence in Ms Neville’s announcement and the success of the plan will lie in the remediation plan’s details and execution.

Water Minister Lisa Neville has requested Southern Rural Water provide a legally enforceable remediation plan, under Section 78 of the Water Act, to improve and protect the health of key waterways in the Otways, including the Big Swamp, Boundary Creek and the Barwon River between Boundary Creek and Winchelsea, and important groundwater reserves.

Mr McLennan said community members had felt some relief after “thousands of hours of effort” researching the environmental impact of groundwater pumping.

But he stressed water campaigners’ concerns for the waterways’ remediation also encompassed the rehabilitation of instream habitats, native species including platypus, and stream flow.

Mr McLennan said Barwon Water should engage experts including the Environmental Protection Authority and biologists among other authorities to create a remediation plan of a high standard and to the satisfaction of the community.

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