Rainbow Creek proposed works viewing

After more than 12 months work, community members are invited to view proposed works on the Thomson River and Rainbow Creek near Cowwarr. 

“We’ve been talking and listening to a range of community members including local landholders, Southern Rural Water, the Wellington Shire and the Gunai Kurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation to come up with this management plan which I’m confident people will be interested in seeing and discussing,” said CEO of the West Gippsland Management Authority, Mr Martin Fuller. 

“Our goal here is to reduce the impact on farming businesses and other landholders when a flood occurs in this catchment. The Rainbow Creek is a relatively new waterway having only formed in the 1950s when a major flood occurred. When the Rainbow in effect, broke away from the Thomson it caused major problems for landholders. This plan aims to reduce the risk of another ‘break away,’ or avulsion occurring,” added Mr Fuller. 

The WGCMA has been working with interested parties since December 2018 to discuss the Thomson and Rainbow systems.  

This has included community forums, regular meetings with a Project Working Group consisting of several local landholders and other entities as well as several one on one meetings to get as much input as possible into the Management Plan. 

WGCMA Waterways Project Officer David Stork says the community engagement that has led to the development of the Management Plan has provided local intelligence and perspectives that has helped shaped the plan. 

“We had a bunch of people talking to us, some of whom had lived their whole lives with these waterways. So that sort of knowledge was invaluable for us to get a clear picture of people’s experiences.” 

David says the Management Plan features several possible works to reduce the risk of either the Thomson or Rainbow once again changing course. 

“There are a number of things we can do, ranging from fencing the waterway and planting trees to stabilise the river bank, to management of in-stream blockages along the course of the river to provide environments for aquatic life but also reduce the risk of another avulsion in any future flood.” 

A community information night will be held on Monday February 24 at 7pm at the Cowwarr Public Hall. 

“The evening will consist of a presentation of the plan and discussion,” said Mr Stork. 

“We’ll also be interested to catch up with individuals if they want to have a longer look at the document and chat with us after the session,” concluded David. 

A light supper will be served for attendees. 

RSVP by 20 Feb via email westgippy@wgcma.vic.gov.au or 1300 094 262 

Archive photograph of Rainbow Creek circa 1970s
Archive photograph of Rainbow Creek circa 1970s
Rainbow Creek near Cowwarr