The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office (CEWO) and managers of Calperum Station—Australian Landscape Trust—have entered into a five-year partnership to deliver water for the environment to continue improving the health of the Calperum floodplain - part of the Riverland Ramsar site.
The partnership will see 11,000 ML of water for the environment delivered to the Riverland Ramsar site over the next five years, supporting a multitude of wildlife including several rare and threatened species such as the southern bell frog and malleefowl.
Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, Jody Swirepik, met with wetland managers at Calperum Station recently to celebrate this significant partnership.
“Commonwealth environmental water has been delivered across the Calperum wetlands since 2014, resulting in some significant ecological outcomes including protecting black box trees and providing valuable habitat for migratory wetland bird species, particularly through the 2018–19 drought”, Ms Swirepik said.
“It is enormously important to recognise the contribution of the Riverland Indigenous Rangers, whose unique local understanding of the landscape has been invaluable for the successful delivery of environmental water at Calperum Station.
“This partnership is a great example of how government and private business can work together to help get the best outcomes for our wetlands, floodplains and rivers. We get the best results when we are all working together”.
The use of the water will be guided by a Floodplain Recovery Plan developed by the Australian Landscape Trust outlining how the water will support complementary works and be protected from pest plants and animals.
Wetlands Manager and senior Ecologist at Calperum Station, Dr Peter Cale, said the integrated program across all aspects of floodplain management has been his dream for many years.
“The delivery of the recovery plan is only possible because of the expertise of many partners involved in addressing so many different management issues across this important floodplain landscape.
“Activities such as revegetation, soil quality improvement, monitoring and research will safeguard the best possible outcomes for environmental water delivery”.
Australian Landscape Trust Education Manager, Julie Robertson said the partnership will enhance the growing education program at Calperum Station.
“The Floodplain Recovery Plan provides a firsthand example of ecology in action that our educators can use to inform and inspire students of all ages. This goes hand in hand with the new Calperum Lakes and Wetland tour designed to engage the public in the important work being done to deliver a healthy river system for all”.
- Calperum Station is a 242,800-hectare Mallee floodplain about 15 km north of Renmark in South Australia. The floodplain is of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
- Partners in the delivery of the Floodplain Recovery Plan include the SA Department for Environment & Water, the Murraylands & Riverland Landscape SA Board and National Indigenous Australians Agency.
- The Riverland Rangers Program is funded by the National Indigenous Australians Agency in partnership with Australian Landscapes Trust and the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board.
Australian Landscape Trust staff, Indigenous rangers, Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder Jody Swirepik and members of the Renmark community celebrating the new partnership.
Indigenous rangers discussed the on-ground implementation of the partnership during a recent tour of Calperum Station.