Tarago Catchment Project

Improving environmental values in the Tarago River catchment

The proposed Tarago Catchment Project aims to improve the environmental values on both private and public lands within the lower and middle reaches of the Tarago River catchment, which is a significant tributary of the Bunyip River. The catchment includes extensive areas of remnant vegetation in parklands and reserves and on private property which can range from smaller lifestyle properties to large commercial agricultural enterprises.

Key threats to the environmental and biodiversity values within the Tarago catchment include invasive plants and pest animals, soil degradation and erosion, and habitat loss. Once implemented, the Tarago Catchment Project will support land managers with pest plant and animal control, and revegetation activities to improve and increase the extent of remnant vegetation in the catchment and connectivity to existing remnant areas.

The outcomes from the project will enhance the environmental values of the Tarago catchment and has potential to improve environmental values such as water quality further downstream in the Bunyip River and Western Port. The project area directly links to the Cannibal Creek Catchment Biodiversity Project and complement the outcomes of that project over a broader landscape.

The project as proposed will include private allotments and public reserves east of the Bunyip River and confluence of the Bunyip and Tarago Rivers at Bunyip North; East to Crossover and Neerim Junction. The northern boundary will align with Bunyip State Park and Labertouche / Latrobe State Forest. The southern project boundary will align with Old Sale Rd. The potential project area covers approximately 210 square kilometres of private land and public reserves within the Tarago River catchment.

Themes and Local Areas

Primary Theme:Native vegetation
Other Themes:Waterways, Wetlands, Native Animals, Soil Health, Sustainable Agriculture, Communities
Primary Local Area:Casey, Cardinia & Baw Baw
Other Local Areas:
Project location:Lower and middle reaches of the Tarago River catchment
Scale of the project:Landscape
New or continuing work:New project/work

Project partners

Lead organisation:Western Port Catchment Landcare Network
Key partners:Labertouche Landcare, Jindivick Landcare, Neerim & District Landcare, Baw Baw Shire, Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) – Central Highlands Eden project, Melbourne Water, Parks Victoria
Registered Aboriginal Party/s relevant to the project or its area:

Investment opportunities

Opportunities for investors within this project start from:$$$ (Hundreds of thousands of dollars)
Estimated scale of investment for full project implementation:$$$ (Hundreds of thousands of dollars)
Estimated timeframe for full project implementation:2-10 years

Contribution toward targets

Primary Regional Catchment Strategy target:Native Vegetation & Native Animals –
Proposed activities such as pest plant and animal control support Native Vegetation and Native Animal targets within the RCS by reducing direct threats (competition, predation, herbivory and trampling) to indigenous flora and fauna from pest plants and animals. Revegetation activities as part of the project have the potential to increase the area of available habitat.

Waterways & Wetlands – The range of proposed activities for this project will directly support improving the condition of waterways and wetlands by assisting landowners/managers with weed control and revegetation of riparian areas and support exclusion fencing to limit stock access to riparian areas. Pest animal control activities will aim to reduce the impact of feral deer (herbivory and browse / rubbing, erosion) on waterways and riparian vegetation. Monitoring activities provide opportunities for community members to develop an increased awareness of the significance of protecting and managing riparian areas. The project activities will directly align with the objectives of the MW Healthy Waterways Strategy and Port Phillip and Western Port Regional Catchment Strategy. Activities targeting riparian areas within the project area will indirectly influence environmental outcomes downstream in the Tarago and Bunyip River catchments.

Communities – The project will be guided by representatives from a range of local community groups to implement activities that are relevant to the community. There are opportunities to support the local community via project activities and funding, and to increase community awareness of local environmental issues by providing engagement and capacity building opportunities.
Relevant Biodiversity 2037 goal:Undertake weed or pest herbivore control to maintain and enhance vegetation quality in priority areas
Relevant National Landcare Program priority:Soil/biodiversity – Projects that will protect and enhance on-farm remnant native vegetation

More information

Western Port Catchment Landcare Network