Refreshing the Upper Billabong

Refreshing the Upper Billabong is part of the Refreshing Rivers project, a collaboration between government, industry, research and community organisations, led by Murray Local Land Services. This project has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.

A PDF copy of the ‘Refreshing Upper Billabong – Waterway Management Plan’ can be viewed or downloaded here.

[If you would like us to print a hardcopy off for you, please call in to the HLN office]

Have your say...

The Upper Billabong Waterway Management Plan is now available for your feedback. The Plan outlines management actions that will be implemented over the next ten years in the Upper Billabong area.

The Refreshing Rivers team is thankful for all inputs already received ­and welcomes any last points of feedback.

Provide feedback on the Plan here.

What will this project deliver?

The Refreshing the Upper Billabong project aims to deliver:

  • Local waterway management plans that identify the values, issues and potential solutions around waterway management;
  • Outcomes supported by market-based stewardship and sustainability schemes related to “waterway friendly” farming practices;
  • Case studies of innovations and technology that enable river-friendly farming practices;
  • Communication campaigns to encourage community, industry and land managers’ behaviours related to waterway-friendly farming;
  • Deliver on-ground works that directly address impacts to waterway health (e.g. riparian rehabilitation, erosion management, barrier removal, pest exclusion etc.).

It is an opportunity to look at the achievements and changes since the Upper Billabong Land and Water Management Plan was done as a 30 years plan in 2001.

The first stage has commenced with consultants, Watertech, undertaking a Waterway Management Plan, and the formation of an Upper Billabong Advisory Group formed to provide feedback to us during its development.


The Waterway Management Plan uses information on the community’s vision for the catchment, what they value, and threats to those values, to develop targeted management actions. Information on the vision, values and threats in the region were collated using the community survey, in-person discussions, site visits, input from Holbrook Landcare Network and a review of legislation, literature and other data.
In the survey, respondents were presented with the vision developed as part of the Upper Billabong Land and Water Management Plan in 2001:
“To improve the economic, social and physical environment of the Upper Billabong Catchment by the implementation of a viable Land and Water Management Plan through education, participation and community ownership”
(Upper Billabong Land and Water Management Plan, 2001).

Respondents were asked:

Is there anything you would change about this vision, for the refreshed Waterway Management Plan?

Responses are summarised in Figure 1 below:

Respondents were also asked:

How would you like the Upper Billabong catchment to be, feel or look in 30 years’ time?

Topics such as biodiversity, clean water and waterways, agriculture, healthy landscapes, flood control and less erosion featured heavily in the text responses. See the word cloud in Figure 2 below.


In the survey, 12 values were listed, and respondents were asked to rank these values in terms of their importance . The survey results are summarised in Figure 3 below.
The plan has taken the values identifed by the community and set out objectives to ensure the assets are protected and enhanced for the future.


In the survey, 13 values were listed, and respondents were asked to rank these values in terms of their importance.

The survey results are summarised in Figure 4 below.

Click here to view previous community survey findings and data