Bungambrawatha Creek flows through the City of Albury, from the headwater streams in the Black Range, through to the AlburyCity CBD where it enters the Murray River. It has a long history of degradation and modification and is now channelised from the Murray River to Oliver Street, Lavington. Council have recognised a need to better manage the waterway, improve biodiversity outcomes, and provide opportunities for the community to engage with the Creek, while still functioning as a primary conveyance of stormwater through the city.

Following our initial community engagement and feedback sessions last year our consultants Alluvium have developed the ‘Bungambrawatha Creek Line Assessment’ report.

Development of this report was scoped around two key outcomes:

The northern section of Bungambrawatha Creek has a history of disturbance including vegetation clearing, which has led to significant incision and widening of the waterway channel. It has been modified in some locations and is confined by surrounding private land making management of the waterway difficult. Council seeks to understand the key issues impacting this section of waterway and seeks to develop a pathway to better management.

Key Findings

  • The waterway is generally stable
  • The waterway is partially confined by private land, with exotic species dominant on the eastern side – landholder partnership will be a requirement to facilitate improvements
  • There are significant opportunities to improve Heathwood Park, including provision of stormwater quality improvements (a constructed wetland) and shade along an active transport route to increase year-round useability
  • There is opportunity to re-establish a ‘Friends of Bungambrawatha’ to work in partnership with AlburyCity for the care and management of sections of the creek line

The channelised section of the waterway is significantly confined, having been modified to convey water away from the town as efficiently as possible. The channel is currently very space confined, visually unappealing, and offers little to residents other than protection from flooding. Council has recognised the benefit that can come from the naturalisation of this waterway, having recognised this as a possibility in some of their park masterplans, and seeks to understand the constraints and opportunities for the waterway along its lined length.

Key Findings

  • The waterway channel largely contains the entire 1% Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) storm event
  • Velocities or water in the waterway channel are very high during major rain events - upwards of 7 metres per second
  • There is limited space around the waterway channel – it is constrained by mature vegetation, infrastructure and private property
  • AlburyCity and the community need to consider “reimagining” how we use the creek understanding there is limited opportunity for naturalisation from North Street to the Murray River owing to velocity, space and flooding constraints
  • A Retarding basin at Union Road presents an excellent opportunity for naturalisation, with relatively few constraints, and limited risk of unacceptable flooding impact
  • Naturalisation opportunities should be further investigated from Ryan Road heading north

Objectives and Opportunities

The Bungambrawatha Creek catchment has been divided into 11 separate management zones and each zone has been given a specific set of actions relevant to that area (refer attached Action Plan). In the upper reaches, the actions focus on land use, vegetation management and access to maintenance. In the lower, channelised zones, the actions are more around maintaining function while enhancing activation and amenity. A full list of all actions can be read in the attached Action Plan, however some of the key opportunities include:

  1. Re-imagined opportunities – where we look to improve aesthetics, tree canopy and active transport connectivity around the waterway channel
  2. Develop new flood models with up-to-date modelling allowing for data to build a more accurate picture of flooding and enable refined investigation
  3. Partner with Traditional Owners to understand their knowledge and how they wish to represent and continue their culture in and along the corridor
  4. Investigate further stormwater improvements across the catchment – Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD), litter management – to improve water quality and extend benefits of WSUD into the urban fabric
  5. Union Road retarding basin and Heathwood Park - further investigate naturalisation and develop concept plans
  6. Ryan Road heading north – investigate opportunities for naturalisation typologies
  7. Upstream works – commence implementation of key actions in the natural unlined reaches

We welcome your feedback on the Bungambrawatha Creek Public Exhibition. Submissions will be received until 5:00 pm Monday 7 August 2023 and can be submitted via the form above or addressed to:

City Landscapes, PO Box 323 Albury NSW 2640 or info@alburycity.nsw.gov.au

Submission are not confidential. Submissions, summaries of submissions, and/or names and addresses of people making submissions may be included in publicly available reports to Council and Council's website.

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