News

Community input sought

By Country News

Community members are being encouraged to apply to be part of the Gunbower Island Community Reference Group to assist with the preservation of the area.

Gunbower Island is internationally recognised for its valuable habitat and includes one of the most significant remaining areas of river red gum forest in Australia.

The forest is home to many endangered plants and animals, and it also contains sites rich in Aboriginal and post-occupation cultural heritage.

North Central Catchment Management Authority manages projects in Gunbower Forest and Gunbower Creek, including the program The Living Murray and the Gunbower and Lower Loddon Native Fish Recovery Plan.

‘‘Both of these projects focus on the health of Gunbower Forest and creek, which we know are important to the local community,’’ North Central CMA project officer Sophia Piscitelli said.

‘‘The NFRP project for example, has recently screened off the Cohuna No. 3 Irrigation Channel to prevent fish and fish larvae being lost to the irrigation system.

‘‘This means more fish are left in Gunbower Creek and, along with other actions like maintaining flows over winter, the local native fish population is showing signs of improvement.

‘‘Gunbower Island is a special place for the local community and joining the Gunbower Island CRG is a great way for community members to contribute to these projects.

‘‘Being a member of the CRG enables you to learn about the projects first-hand, provide feedback and share your knowledge with staff and the wider community.’’

■Expressions of interest close at noon on Friday, February 8 with successful applicants informed before February 22.

■To find out more or to apply, visit: www.nccma.vic.gov.au and search for ‘Gunbower Island CRG’. Applications can be emailed to Sophia Piscitelli at: sophia.piscitelli@nccma.vic.gov.au