The Bremer Barker Catchment Group Inc. began in 1992 as a result of community concerns about the effects of increasing salinity and decreasing water quality in the Bremer Barker River catchments.
The Bremer Barker catchment is located in the lower reaches of the Murray Darling Basin, approximately 35 kilometres southeast of Adelaide. The catchment covers an area of approximately 65,000 hectares or 650 square kilometres. There is a broad range of land types from steep hilly country to low plains with rainfall ranging from 800 mm per annum to 375 mm per annum.
The main watercourse in the catchment is the Bremer River, which flows into Lake Alexandrina near the town of Langhorne Creek. The catchment includes a large network of watercourses with a total length of approximately 1,000 kilometres. Significant tributaries of the Bremer River are the Nairne Creek, Dawesley Creek, Mount Barker Creek, Western Flat Creek, Red Creek and Rodwell Creek.
The main objective of the Bremer Barker Catchment Group, in the past, has been to provide an efficient and effective system of strategic planning, project design, documentation, research design and on-ground works implementation for the improvement of land and water resources in the catchment. The Group has gained extensive knowledge of issues facing the Bremer Barker Catchment through community consultation and scientific study. This was published in the initial Catchment Management Plan (1996) and then the Local Action Plan (1999).
From 1997 to 2007, the Bremer Barker Catchment Group’s major focus was the implementation of on-ground works. The Group has been extremely effective in implementing on-ground change through their local approach and assistance provided to landholders. The Ten Year Review of the Bremer Barker Catchment Group’s On-ground Works Projects concluded that overall most projects achieved their objectives. Greater than 3,000 hectares of vegetation were protected over that time, 30% more than the target set in the 1999 Local Action Plan.
Since 2008 the Goolwa to Wellington LAP, which encompasses the Bremer Barker catchment, has received funding to continue the on-ground works.
The BBCG committee, albeit very reduced in numbers, has remained active since then. A website has been developed, and the Group made submissions on the State Government 30 Year Plan for Greater Adelaide and the Mt Barker Development Plan Amendment, highlighting the importance of preserving what remains of our natural resources and prime agricultural land.
In 2011 the Group joined with the LAP, Ranges to River NRM Group and local landcare groups in a marquee at the Mt Barker Show to showcase NRM in the EMLR. A submission to the Development Policy Advisory Committee was followed by an opportunity to comment at the public hearings. A written submission was also forwarded to the Mt Barker Council relating to their Development Plan Review following the DPA process.
The Bremer Barker Catchment Group Bore Monitoring Program has been maintained by the Goolwa to Wellington LAP, with the compilation of a report to consolidate the past 15 years’ results complied in 2012.
In collaboration with the Ranges to River NRM Group a Science forum was held in Mt Barker in 2009, on the topic “Sustainable development in the EMLR – an oxymoron?” which was attended by over 100 community members.
The following year, also in conjunction with the Ranges to River NRM group, a Water forum was held with over 70 school students attending.
To celebrate 20 years of the group, a creek walk survey of native fish was undertaken in March 2012, along a short run of the Mt Barker Creek near the township.
The Group has a comprehensive and valuable library of reports that cover all aspects of the natural resources of the catchment. It would be a pity for this to be lost.
If you have any questions, suggestions or comments about the Bremer Barker Catchment Group, please Email us at [email protected].
We look forward to hearing from you.