Many hands have made light work at a newly constructed wetlands in Broadlands where the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) NRM Crew have been busy planting more than 80,000 native seedlings, giving the site a much-needed facelift and providing food and habitat for local wildlife.

The project was successfully tendered under a partnership with Cranes Asphalting and Bitumen Sealing (Cranes). Under this partnership, both organisations were able to bring in their expertise: Cranes undertook the construction and GLaWAC prepared, planted and will manage the site over the coming year.

The wetlands will be filled with water from nearby roads as part of a project by the East Gippsland Shire Council to lessen the impact of stormwater on the Gippsland Lakes.

Two large holding ponds capture stormwater redirected from the local urban environment helping to protect the internationally significant Jones Bay Wetlands, part of the Gippsland Lakes Ramsar site.

In just under three months and with social distancing measure in place, the GLaWAC crew have turned the site from a dusty paddock to a blanket of seedlings that will help to treat and improve the water quality of the wetlands.

“This project is a great example of people working together to make things happen and our crew have been really proud to be involved,” said Nigel Pearce, GLaWAC NRM Crew Manager. “We’re always keen to work on Country but to know the impact that this site is having to improve the health of the Gippsland Lakes has been fantastic.”

“It’s been a great example of what a successful partnership can achieve”, said Chris Settle, General Manager – Delivery of Cranes. “Cranes are very proud to be in partnership with GLaWAC to deliver a project like this. I hope it’s just the start of a long-term relationship and we’re looking forward to the next one.”

Mr Pearce agrees, “These partnerships are really important to GLaWAC. To have so many organisations committed to working together to achieve great outcomes for Country is a credit to everyone involved.”

This project was funded by the Victorian Government for the Gippsland Lakes.