River bank to be restored

Important environmental works along the banks of the Murray River in Albury will help to preserve the area for future generations to enjoy.

The works will begin with the removal of weed species such as willows and privet along a stretch of the river between the Union Bridge and Oddies Creek.

Removing the weed species and replacing them with native plants will improve the appearance of the river bank and create habitat for fish, birds, frogs and other animals.

AlburyCity Acting Mayor Amanda Cohn said the project would not only enhance the area for locals and tourists, it would also help to restore the river to health.

“Our rivers are under enormous stress but by rehabilitating this stretch of foreshore in the heart of our popular parklands, we’ll be returning this part of the river to something closer to its natural state, with all the benefits that will bring to people and wildlife,” she said.

Ben Berry from the NSW Government’s Soil Conservation Service said the project, which will include the addition of large timbers and rocks to protect the banks from erosion, would be an important boost to aquatic life in the river.

“Fish, frogs, platypus and other river-dwelling animals will really benefit from having the large logs installed and the banks revegetated with native plants, which is great for biodiversity and also for people who enjoy the natural beauty of our river,” he said.

“Many large snags were removed from the river back in the 1980s so it’s great to be able to put back what should have never have been taken out in the first place.”

Luke Pearce from NSW Fisheries welcomed the works.

“Anything we can do to reduce erosion and create habitat is great news for fish and other aquatic animals so we can look forward to a more natural river environment helping to preserve wildlife in the river for future generations,’ he said.

Some parts of the area will be fenced off at times and a portion of the Oddies Creek car park will be closed to allow access by trucks.

The area could be unsightly while the works take place but the foreshore will be fully restored when the project is completed.

“Although we acknowledge there could be some inconvenience for a short time, we hope people understand that any short-term pain will have a major long-term gain in terms of the health of our river as well as the visual amenity of the area when the work’s completed,” Cr Cohn said.

Visitors to the area are urged to follow signage in the area as the work progresses.

The work will start on Monday 20 May and is expected to be completed in late June.

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