Co-Designed Catchment Program for the

Werribee Catchment Region

This document contains detailed targets and performance objectives set out for the catchment and its sub-catchments. Download and read it from the document library by clicking the button below.

The sub-catchments, estuaries and wetlands here are:

Sub-catchments
Cherry Creek, Kororoit Creek Lower, Kororoit Creek Upper, Laverton Creek, Lerderderg River, Little River Lower, Little River Upper, Lollypop Creek, Parwan Creek, Skeleton Creek, Toolern Creek, Werribee River Lower, Werribee River Middle, Werribee River Upper

Estuaries
Kororoit Creek, Laverton Creek, Little River, Skeleton Creek, Werribee River

Wetlands
Altona Treatment Plant, Balls Wetland Complex (Western Grassland Reserve), Baths Swamp (Western Grassland Reserve), Black Forest Rd Wetland (Western Grassland Reserve), Black Swamp, Cheetham Wetlands, Cherry Lake, Cherry Creek, Cobbledicks Ford cluster (Western Grassland Reserve), Cunningham’s Swamp, Deans Marsh, Rockbank, Greens Rd E Wetland No. 2 (Western Grassland Reserve), Jawbone Reserve, Jenz Swamp, Kirksbridge Rd W Wetland (Western Grassland Reserve), Kororoit Creek No. 3, Laverton RAAF Swamp, Live Bomb Wetland (Western Grassland Reserve), Paynes Rd Swamp, Point Cook Wetlands - RAAF Lake, Point Cook Wetlands - Spectacle Lake, Rabbitters Lake and Swamp (Western Grassland Reserve), Richmonds Grass Swamp (Western Grassland Reserve), Rockbank No. 1, Rockbank Railway Swamp, Target Range Swamp (Western Grassland Reserve), The Spit Nature Conservation Reserve, Troups Rd Swamp, Truganina Swamp, Laverton Creek, West Quandong Swamp (Western Grassland Reserve), Western Treatment Plant - Paul and Belfrages Wetland, Western Treatment Plant - Ponds, Western Treatment Plant - Ryans Swamp, Wetland at Holden Road Diggers Rest, Wetland near Rolling Thunder Raceway, Wyndham Vale Swamp



The Werribee catchment occupies an area of 2695 square kilometres.

  • About 20 per cent of the area retains its natural vegetation
  • 65 per cent is used for agriculture
  • 10 per cent is used for urban development – confined to greater Melbourne and larger townships within the catchment

The waterways here are diverse, ranging from large rivers to small creeks.



Co-designing for the future

The Catchment Collaboration, made up of interested community members, organisations and agencies, worked for months to create a shared vision, as well as its underpinning targets and performance objectives that will drive future actions.

Vision

Goals

  1. Waterways and water resources of the Werribee catchment support and are supported by balanced and sustainable practices within industry, agriculture and the growing population.
  2. Innovation and knowledge guides appropriate use of our waterways.
  3. Viable, healthy, resilient and connected ecosystems across the catchment.
  4. Special places (rivers, creeks, wetlands and estuaries) within the catchment are recognised and managed for their significant values.
  5. Our community appreciates the values of our waterways very highly and is engaged to positively and actively contribute to waterway outcomes.

Waterway Values

Waterway Values

Environmental

There are 134 expected riparian bird species in the Werribee catchment region. There have been recent records of nationally-significant fish including the Australian grayling in the lower Werribee River. Frog species include threatened species such as the growling grass frog, Bibron’s toadlet and the southern toadlet; although neither of the two toadlet species have been recorded in the catchment since the Millennium Drought.

The upper forested areas of the Werribee River and Lerderderg River within Lerderderg State Park contain areas of very high vegetation value. The value of vegetation across other parts of the catchment is of low to moderate value as a result of the modified nature of the catchment. Macroinvertebrate scores are also highest in the forested headwaters with degradation increasing towards the lower reaches, which are increasingly impacted by urban runoff.

Platypus are distributed in those parts of the Werribee River system (includes Lerderderg River) that have reliable summer flow regimes. However, they are considered to be locally threatened due to low numbers and continuing long-term decline.

Social

In the Werribee catchment region social values for streams are currently high. There is currently no data for social values of wetlands in the Werribee catchment. Social values are based on the surveyed level of community satisfaction and are threatened by inappropriate urban development, poor environmental condition, poor access to waterways, and pollution.

Cultural

The land and waters of this region hold deep spiritual and cultural significance for Aboriginal peoples. The people of the Wada wurrung and Woi wurrung language groups were the original occupants of this land, as evidenced by the thousands of cultural sites and places recorded. Most of these occurring within 200 metres of a watercourse.

Economic

Economic values vary across the catchment. They include domestic, stock and agricultural uses in the upper and middle parts of the catchment. On the floodplains, wetlands are being restrained to increase the value of urban properties.

Target Summaries

Waterway Targets

  • Reflect community aspirations for waterways
  • Ensure management is directly linked to desired outcomes and our catchment goals
  • Are set on a timescale of 10-plus years
  • Have been established for environmental values for rivers, wetlands and estuaries
  • Have been established for social values for rivers and estuaries
  • Are scored according to three timeframes: current state, current trajectory and target trajectory

The following summaries set out the overall targets to achieve the environmental and social waterway values.


Rivers and Creeks Summary

Target summary for the Werribee Catchment Region

In detail

Key value outcomes

Rivers and Creeks

Birds score for rivers is currently moderate overall and likely to decline over the long term under current trajectory. The target is to maintain as moderate.

Fish score is currently low overall but can be improved to moderate through improved instream connectivity, stormwater management, provision of adequate stream flows and streamside revegetation.

Frogs score is currently moderate overall. However, in the long term scores are likely to decline because of increased urbanisation, land use intensification, introduced predators and deteriorating water quality. The target is to maintain the frog score as moderate.

Locations where a decline or very low score is expected: Little River Lower, Lollypop Creek

Waterbugs (macroinvertebrates) score is moderate overall. Scores are higher in the forested headwaters, but the catchment has been impacted by land use intensification and urbanisation that has resulted in changes to stream flows, water quality and instream habitat. The target is to improve to very high.

Locations where a decline or very low score is expected: Cherry Creek

Platypus are distributed in those parts of the Middle and Lower Werribee River system (includes Lerderderg River) that have reliable summer flow regimes. The Werribee population is considered threatened due to low numbers, continuing long-term decline and the severe impacts drought has had on populations. With projected reduced flows they are likely to decline without intervention. The target is to maintain current populations.

Platypus are not expected to be present in Cherry Creek, Kororoit Creek Lower, Kororoit Creek Upper, Laverton Creek, Skeleton Creek, Lollypop Creek.

Vegetation score is currently moderate, which is mainly due to the modified nature of the catchment. The current trajectory is low. However, with increased effort the potential trajectory is to maintain moderate scores. Forested areas of the upper catchments have higher values for riparian vegetation; however, where land clearing has been extensive, streamside vegetation is in very low to moderate condition. Revegetation projects are helping to improve riparian vegetation.

Amenity score, which is based on level of satisfaction, is currently high but likely to decline with increased urbanisation and population growth. The target is to maintain as high.

Community connection score, which is based on level of satisfaction, is currently high but likely to decline with increased urbanisation. The target is to improve to very high. Thirty-three per cent of people in the Werribee catchment visit waterways at least fortnightly and 80 per cent are satisfied with waterways.

Recreation score, which is based on level of satisfaction, is currently high but likely to decline with increased urbanisation. The target is to maintain at high.


For more information

Visit the Document Library to read the Strategy, the Co-Designed Catchment Program for the Werribee Catchment Region and other supporting documents.