Riparian Environment

Albury’s location on the banks of the Murray River puts us in constant contact with the river environment.

The mighty Murray

The Murray River is one of Australia’s most significant river systems, and we’re extremely fortunate to have such a unique riparian ecosystem in our backyard.

The river setting is one of Albury’s most valued attributes. It’s highly used for recreation, tourism and other economic benefits. However, it hasn’t always been appreciated or managed for biodiversity.

Role of the riparian environment

A riparian zone is land alongside creeks, streams, gullies, rivers and wetlands. These areas are unique and diverse, and are often the most fertile parts of the landscape. In a natural or well managed state, riparian areas are important for many reasons. They can support diverse vegetation, help maintain bank stability, and increase ecological and economic productivity. Good riparian environments support cleaner water, reduce disease and pests, and retain important nutrients and soil.

Located downstream from Lake Hume and on the banks of the Murray River, Albury contains a vast variety of unique riparian vegetation environments along the banks of the river, our various creeks, streams and wetlands. However, it hasn’t always been appreciated or managed for biodiversity. Riparian areas are vulnerable and easily degraded. Damage can be caused by uncontrolled access, clearing for agriculture or urban development, invasion by pests and feral animals such as rabbits, woody weeds such as privet, or from overuse by recreational activities. Waste can contribute pollution, and trampling from uncontrolled stock such as sheep and cows can destroy vegetation, soil structure, and result in loss of valuable soil and land.

What we’re doing to help the river environment

The importance of managing riparian environments is now widely recognised and our environmental programs are designed to help manage and protect these environments. We work closely with the NSW Local Land Services and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage to manage our river biodiversity assets, including Lake Hume, river red gum forests, floodplains and wetlands, and the aquatic animals that these systems support.

Recent projects

  • Re-vegetation of Apex Park at Lake Hume. A re-vegetation project commenced at the site in July 2014. Several thousand local native trees, shrubs and grasses have been planted across the site over the last 3 years. These re vegetation works help maintain bank stability, and increase ecological diversity across the site. The Apex Park area is known habitat for the squirrel glider – a declared threatened species in both NSW and Victoria. Several nest boxes have been installed at the site to provide homes for the gliders and other native animals. The re vegetation project will assist in enhancing habitat for these species.
  • 8 Mile Creek, Spring Park Estate. Over 1,600 local native grasses, shrubs and trees have been planted. These plants will provide food and habitat opportunities for a number of threatened fauna species such as squirrel gliders and woodland birds.
  • Heathwood Park. Woody weed removal and tree planting along Bangambrawatha Creek to improve water quality and local species diversity.

Future projects

  • We will continue to work with NSW Office of Environment and Heritage to develop a Local Area Management Plan for Thurgoona-Wirlinga on Sloane’s froglet  and managing its habitat. This plan will provide enhanced stormwater and water quality management across the catchment. Watch this space for information on developments in the Local Area Management Plan.
  • We will work with key stakeholders (regulatory, developers, builders) in a review of the Soil and Water Management Policy, the Erosion and Sediment Control Guidelines for Building Sites, and the Erosion and Sediment Control Guidelines for Subdivisions. These guidelines will ensure good practice in managing stormwater and soil erosion in construction sites.