Oral Presentation 9th Australian Stream Management Conference 2018

Mid-King Cooperative Avulsion Management   (#36)

Andrew Briggs 1
  1. North East CMA, Wodonga, VIC, Australia

An active avulsion process is currently underway within a 10km reach of the King River, in North East Victoria. This process first came to the attention of the North East CMA in 2011 when landholders reported rapid changes within the King River channel and surrounding floodplain/anabranches.

Typical of most avulsing waterways, the King River faces several common issues that had to be worked through with the community, including:

  • Little knowledge of geomorphic processes,
  • Strong attachment to the current alignment, ie a perception of temporal and spatial permanence of the river – “This is where the river has always been”
  • Strong ties to the legacy of River Trust interventions,
  • No Crown Frontage

Anxiety about the imminent abandonment of the current course and the realisation that the expected “River Trust” response was not going to eventuate due to changes in Government investment priorities, resulted in the community becoming increasingly agitated and political in their endeavours to drive an intervention.  

In response, the Authority developed a strategy of strategic extension work founded on sound “layman’s” science that enabled the community to develop a deep understanding of their river, and interventions that would outlast a short term “traditional” works program.

After two years of intensive extension work using a range of extension tools, the community established the “Mid-King Action Group”, and are now actively (and largely independently) managing their properties in ways that benefit the whole system, with ongoing support from the CMA.

This innovative and wholistic approach to avulsion management was successful in being awarded the River Basin Management Society’s Vic Catchments award for “Involving Community in Waterway Management”.

Download Full Paper