Work on the Third Reedy Lakes Bypass Project is starting.
This is a significant step for the project and follows almost five years of technical investigation and extensive community and stakeholder consultation.
The Third Reedy Lake is part of the Kerang Lakes Complex that is listed under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance.
The work will be delivered through the $2 billion Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) Connections Project, creating extensive environmental benefits for the lake system.
Connections Project Director Frank Fisseler said the project would not only create positive environmental outcomes for the wetland and the overall Kerang Lakes Complex, it would generate important water savings that provide even further environmental benefits.
“As the name suggests - it will create a bypass around the Third Reedy Lake,” Mr Fisseler said.
“This will allow the introduction of a new watering regime improving the ecological condition of the lake and generating about 1.6GL of water savings.
“The works will allow the restoration of habitat for aquatic flora and fauna, improve water bird breeding and feeding opportunities and manage pest plants and animals.”
Mr Fisseler said there would be no change to landowners’ access to water for irrigation or stock and domestic use.
The works will include the establishment of a 750ML/day, 1.4km bypass channel, new regulator and fish passage on the bypass channel,pump station and 1.5km pipeline connecting to the TO1/7 channel and landowner connections.
Works were approved by the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
As part of the approval, conditions were attached to protect the environment during the construction phase of the Third Reedy Lake bypass channel as well as requiring a future operational plan that will ensure project objectives are met and includes adaptive management measures.
“We understand there are concerns about how we will ensure the protection of significant environmental and cultural heritage values,” Connections Environment Manager Ross Plunkett said.
“Detailed investigations have been undertaken and a rigorous assessment and approval process has been applied to the project.
“A key part of our work has been the preparation of a Construction Environmental Management Plan, a Cultural Heritage Management Plan and an Operational Environmental Management Plan.”
For more information on the conditions attached by the Department of Energy and Environment go to http://epbcnotices.environment.gov.au/referralslist/ and search for referral number 2016/7760