Swamp erosion concerns users

ERODING: Residents have raised concerns regarding increasing erosion at Kow Swamp's key recreational areas.

ERODING: Residents have raised concerns regarding increasing erosion at Kow Swamp's key recreational areas.

SEVEN years of unimpeded erosion, coupled with inaction, have residents concerned regarding the future of Kow Swamp.

The swamp reached global prominence after it was discovered to hold the largest Late Pleistocene-era human remains, and it continues to be a site of archeological, cultural, and environmental significance.

However, Gannawarra and Campaspe shires representatives, Goulburn-Murray Water personnel, community groups and State Member for Murray Plains, Peter Walsh have raised concerns regarding the threat of erosion to the site.

According to Leitchville Lions Club secretary, Graham Thompson, the swamp is under threat from erosion caused by wind, water, and cattle getting too close to the shore and trampling the land, and the problem has been worsening. 

"Before 2010 erosion was starting to be an issue but the floods in 2010 and 2011 aggravated the erosion," he said.

Mr Thompson said that the biggest issue facing the swamp is one of jurisdiction. 

The swamp straddles the border of Campaspe, Gannawarra and Loddon shires, and is used as a recreational area, a water storage area, and is of significance to the Yorta Yorta people.

With so many stakeholders, the question of accountability continues to be a muddy one. 

Mr Walsh said that it was disappointing that nothing had been done so far.

"It should have been repaired as part of the grants process after the 2011 floods, and it's very disappointing that it wasn't," he said.

"I share the community's concerns that the longer this goes on the more the swamp will erode away. It needs a resolution quickly."

It is understood that Goulburn-Murray Water is facilitating a management group and are currently drafting a plan to address the multiple issues the swamp is facing. 

The Gannawarra Times has contacted Goulburn-Murray Water for comment and is awaiting a response. 

Currently management meetings for concerned community members and stakeholders are held by the rural water authority every two to three months, which Mr Thompson said isn't sufficient.

However, prior to the current management group, meetings were being held by other parties and in fact have been taking place for somewhere up to five years.

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