NSW Environment Minister Robyn Parker visited Bega on Thursday to meet with members of the Bega River and Wetlands Landcare group and see first-hand the incredible transformation of the Bega River Reserve.
Mrs Parker was accompanied by Member for Bega Andrew Constance during her visit.
The Bega River Reserve regeneration project is the result of thousands of hours of hard work by staff and volunteers from the Bega River and Wetlands Landcare group (BRAWL), as well as Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority (CMA), NSW Department of Crown Lands and the Bega Valley Shire Council.
The riverbank has been transformed from an almost impenetrable rubbish-filled weed patch to a beautiful family-friendly recreation area.
The riverbed itself has also undergone an unbelievable rejuvenation, with weed species removed and native plants put it to halt riverbank erosion.
Work is still being done to rehabilitate other areas the Bega River to remove weeds and debris from floods in recent years.
“It’s a pleasure to see the ecological recovery work which is underway on the Bega River with the assistance of a $249,580 grant through the NSW Government’s Environmental Trust,” Mrs Parker said.
“The Bega River and Wetlands Landcare group was awarded the grant in June last year for their project which aims to achieve the ecological recovery of a four kilometre stretch of the Bega River and associated wetlands.
“The group is working in conjunction with the Southern Rivers CMA, Bega Valley Shire Council and Crown Lands to deliver this project and the efforts of everyone involved are to be commended,” Mrs Parker said.
“This project involves the regeneration and protection of important remnant stands of mature river oaks, including revegetation with understorey species and reconnection with nearby wetlands.”
The regeneration process will continue over the next five years.
“This particular grant was awarded through the Environmental Trust’s Community Bush Regeneration Large Project Stream program, which delivers on the NSW Government’s commitment to regenerate degraded natural bushland including riverbanks, waterways and urban bushland,” Mrs Parker said.
Mr Constance said the project was making significant progress and the community was eagerly awaiting the eventual outcomes of the work.
“This is a project which aims to significantly improve the local environment and the Bega River and Wetlands Landcare group is to be applauded for the way in which they have tackled the early stages of the ecological recovery of the Bega River and the wetlands,” Mr Constance said.
“The group is just one of many dedicated community organisations which secure funding for worthwhile initiatives every year through the NSW Environmental Trust.”
While in the Valley last week Mrs Parker also visited Ben Boyd National Park’s Green Cape Lighthouse and Station to see the new Light to Light Walk ecotourism venture.