The Nungurner Community and Coast Action Group, in partnership with Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Council (GLaWAC) and Parks Victoria, has transformed the pathway connecting the Nungurner Jetty with the beach thanks to a Gippsland Lakes Coordinating Committee Community Grant.
“The whole area was badly infested with blackberries and quite inaccessible before we started the project,” said Nungurner Community and Coast Action Group secretary, Merilyn Gander.
“The Grant allowed us to formalise our contract with GLaWAC and work collaboratively with them to develop a work plan so that our volunteers could dovetail in with the work they were doing. At each stage we developed a plan to follow them with the work that we could do like planting and mulching after they’ve done the big stuff like spraying and major weed control.”
The idea for the project came after the conclusion of another project the Nungurner Community and Coast Action Group had worked on in collaboration with GLaWAC.
“We were able to enter the grant application process with the confidence of being able to say we already had a working relationship with GLaWAC and realistically evaluate what we would be able to achieve together in this project,” said Merilyn.
The conclusion of the project is a milestone with the GLaWAC team who have worked on the site visiting regularly to undertake major works as well as check site progress.
“It looks totally different to when we started. The crew like coming here to work, it’s a good, quiet spot with a great view, said Nigel Pearce, NRM Manager at GLaWAC.”
“There has been a great relationship between our team and the Nungurner Community and Coast Action Group,” said GLaWAC GLCC Project Coordinator, Andy Booth.
“It’s fantastic to see groups, government agencies and other organisations working collaboratively to achieve net improvements for the Gippsland Lakes and the communities on the Lakes.”
Students from Nungurner Primary School also got their hands dirty during the project, completing some planting on the foreshore, meaning the children were able to make a positive contribution to the environment in their own community.
The Gippsland Lakes Coordinating Committee community grants provide an opportunity for community groups to seek funding for projects that will help tackle key priorities for the Gippsland Lakes.
“It’s fantastic to see community groups achieving local priorities to help the health of the Gippsland Lakes,” said Carolyn Cameron, Community Projects Officer, East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority.
“Round four grant applications have just opened, and we encourage local groups to start planning their applications so they’re project-ready to ensure a smooth application process.”
“Our partnership with GLaWAC contributed in a huge way to help us achieve this project. It was fantastic to be able to work here with the GLaWAC team, we could not have done it without them, said Merilyn.
“We are looking forward to securing more sustainable annual funding to maintain the work we’ve done so far.”
A sign was recently unveiled at the start of the walking track to indicate that the ongoing maintenance is a partnership between the groups.
This project was funded by the Victorian State Government for the health of the Gippsland Lakes and delivered in partnership by the Nungurner Community and Coast Action Group, GLaWAC and Parks Victoria.