28 February 2020
Boundary Creek and Big Swamp plan accepted
Southern Rural Water has today officially accepted the Boundary Creek, Big Swamp and surrounding environment Remediation and Environmental Protection Plan submitted by Barwon Water.
In September 2018 the Minister for Water directed Southern Rural Water to issue a notice requiring Barwon Water to submit and implement a remediation and environment protection plan for Boundary Creek, Big Swamp and the surrounding environment impacted by historical groundwater pumping at Barwon Downs.
On 20 December 2019, Barwon Water submitted its proposed plan to Southern Rural Water for review.
Southern Rural Water has provided Barwon Water with feedback which has since been incorporated into the plan, and which Barwon Water will begin to implement from 1 March.
The feedback was guided by an Independent Technical Review Panel and by input from the Barwon Downs Community Leaders Group, established by Southern Rural Water in 2019.
Southern Rural Water General Manager Customer Service, Craig Parker, thanked both groups for their expertise, knowledge and insights, which assisted in the review of the plan and how it will be implemented.
“We acknowledge the significant time and effort by everyone involved in the process, particularly the community members who have continued to advocate to ensure all perspectives are included in the plan. We look forward to their ongoing involvement as the plan is implemented.”
“This represents the first step on the long journey towards remediation of these waterways and surrounds,” he said. “We are committed to ensuring that Barwon Water are accountable for the implementation of the plan.”
Barwon Water will provide quarterly progress updates to Southern Rural Water.
Links to the documents:
- Southern Rural Water’s advice of acceptance of the Remediation and Environmental Protection Plan
- The Community Leaders Group Letter of Feedback
- The Independent Technical Review Panel Review of the Plan
- Link to the accepted REPP (on the Barwon Water website)
About the Community Leaders Group
The Barwon Downs Community Leaders Group (CLG) is an evolution of the Community Reference Group set up to assist Southern Rural Water (SRW) in its consideration of an application by Barwon Water to renew a licence to operate the Barwon Downs Borefield in the Gerangamete Groundwater Management Area (GMA).
The role of the CLG has been to provide SRW with valuable local knowledge and community insight to support the s78 process and ongoing management of the resources.
The CLG has been guided by an Independent Chair, Shaun Cox.
SRW has received input from the CLG to:
- Understand the community perspective and how that has been addressed through the deliverables submitted by Barwon Water;
- Inform feedback and amendments required to the deliverables.
SRW will continue to work with the CLG to determine the long-term engagement objectives and approach for the Barwon Downs area.
About the Independent Technical Review Panel
The members of the ITRP are:
- Associate Professor Peter Dahlhaus
- Dr Jeff Taylor
- Hugh Middlemis
SRW sought advice from the ITRP to:
- confirm any changes to the Plan that are required to be made by Barwon Water;
- confirm and accept the scientific methodology used to prepare the Plan; and
- verify and accept the preferred controls and actions presented in the Plan.
Licence renewal application under Section 58 (withdrawn 2019)
Southern Rural Water (SRW) assesses
Barwon Water previously held a licence for extraction at Barwon Downs in the Gerangamete Groundwater Management Area. It expired on 30 June 2019.
On 14 March 2019, Barwon Water withdrew its application under Section 58 of the Water Act 1989 for the renewal of its licence. For further
The following reports and summaries are available at the close of that process:
- Link to s78 notice
- Link to the Barwon Water site, for the Remediation Plan
- Link to the Barwon Water site, for the Gerangamete-Groundwater-Management-Area-Groundwater-Licence-2018-19-Report