July Update – We’re working hard on exciting new attractions at the Yea Wetlands
A year ago, Yea Wetlands achieved significant recognition when it received a grant of $375,000 from the State Government’s Regional Tourism Investment Fund, the result of a very compelling application by members of the Yea Wetlands Discovery Centre Association and the Committee of Management. This grant was a major component of a $500,000 enhancement project comprising four programs: a major upgrading of the Interpretive Wing of the Centre, a 600 metre extension of the existing boardwalks and walkways opening up the northern area of the Wetlands, six strategically placed riparian viewing areas, and an indigenous metal sculpture trail to be placed along existing Wetlands walking paths.
The project is being overseen by a Project Governance Group (PGG) comprising members of the Association and Committee of Management and including representatives from the State Government, Murrindindi Shire Council and Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority. Taungurung consultancy is provided by Aunty Angela ten Buuren (Franklin), a Taungurung Elder.
An actual start on visible work in the Wetlands has unfortunately been delayed by the effects of the major flood in October last year, however the PGG and its subcommittees have been busy with detailed planning and compliance tasks. The route of the new Kayigai riverside trail in the northern part of the Wetlands has been sited using GPS satellite technology. A specialist consultant has fully surveyed the route with a Taungurung representative and is preparing the required Cultural Heritage Management Plan. Boardwalk structural designs have been prepared and are with Council for approval. Similar work is underway for six new low impact viewing points for the enjoyment of visitors. Multiple permit reviews are under consideration ensuring all works are carried out in compliance with State and local laws, structures to be constructed in sympathy with the environment.
After an EOI process, the PGG has commissioned an artist to design the four individual sculptures for the sculpture trail. The artist has commenced work and sites for the sculptures have been selected.
In the Yea Wetlands Discovery Centre, the design of four new interpretative displays is well advanced as the major component of a revamp of the Russell Wealands Wing. Exhibit concepts have been agreed to and are now into the final planning stages.
The PGG has also been overseeing the raising of the $125,000 co-funding required to complement the government’s contribution. Primarily through the generosity of a number of local individuals keen to support completion of the project, around $115,000 of that amount is in hand. Further contributions are of course most welcome. If you wish to be part of this Community spirit of this project and would like to contribute, or would simply like to learn more, the contact details are as follows:
- Greg Noonan
- Treasurer, Yea Wetlands Trust
This project is the next evolution of the long-term vision for maximum exposure of the Yea Wetlands enabling a far greater appreciation and understanding of the ephemeral nature of the Wetlands, the wildlife inhabiting the area, and the role our First Nations peoples have played and continue to play within this environment.