No more water hazard at Trentham club

Teeing off at the picturesque par-three 13th hole at Trentham Golf Course is usually accompanied by the soothing noise of a waterfall.
The problem is none of the club’s members can ever remember actually seeing it.
“It’s pretty noisy. We have always known there was something there,” club president Keith Webster said.
The golf course borders Stony Creek, which runs into the Coliban River just above Trentham Falls.
The club has been working with A Healthy Coliban Catchment project staff to clean up an area of about half a hectare along the creek to make it more accessible and improve the health of the waterway.
“This was a no-man’s land of willows, thistles, blackberries and other associated noxious weeds,” course committee chair Geoff Durham said.
“We didn’t want the noxious weeds on our property blocking the waterway or affecting the water quality.
“Given this creek falls into Trentham Falls, which goes onto the reservoirs, it is very important.”
Trentham Golf Course was just one of nine sites A Healthy Coliban Catchment worked on in the Upper Coliban catchment during the project’s first year.
AHCC is an innovative 20-year plan that brings together government agencies, local councils and local communities.
At its core is the protection of one of the region’s most important waterways – the Coliban River – and its tributaries upstream of Malmsbury Reservoir.
In its first year, more than 26 kilometres of fencing has been put up, 35 hectares revegetated, 118ha of weeds removed, 55 off-stream water troughs installed and 10 Aboriginal Water Assessments completed.
Project manager Rod White said the work would have lasting effects.
“Fencing stock out of our waterways is important, as their manure can contain disease-causing micro-organisms known as pathogens,” he said.
“Revegetating these waterways helps with filtration, but it also helps keep the banks stable and encourages native vegetation to grow in the water, which is great for native fish and platypuses.”
Installing off-stream water sources for farmers whose stock have lost permanent access to the waterways is also a key part of the project.
“Agricultural production, including cropping and grazing of cattle and sheep, is an important land use in the Upper Coliban catchment and we want to keep it that way,” Mr White said.
“And when it comes to weeds, we have removed 118ha of willows, hawthorn, blackberries and thistles, which can do horrible damage to waterways by diverting flows, using large amounts of water compared to native trees and reducing the natural habitat for platypuses.”
The Upper Coliban is also important culturally for the region’s Traditional Owners, with a number of significant sites along waterways.
“There is so much information to be shared about just how significant this area is, and has been historically, to the Dja Dja Wurrung people,” Mr White said.
“Aboriginal Waterway Assessments are an early step to making that happen.”
The Upper Coliban River catchment supplies the raw drinking water for more than 130,000 people, including the towns of Bendigo, Trentham, Tylden, Kyneton and Castlemaine, and is a source of water for the region’s rural customers.

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