By Emily Mark
A popular camping and fishing destination on the north bank of Lake Mulwala is being returned to its natural beauty after a tornado in 2013 caused huge vegetation damage and forced the park’s closure for 12 months.
The tornado caused widespread damage in Murray River communities, with wind speeds in excess of 200km/h and a path of destruction up to 250m wide.
Even without the storm’s devastating impact, Kiffyn’s Reserve had a decade-long history of erosion problems which Goulburn Murray Water (GMW) has worked with the local NSW Federation Council to rectify.
The council-owned reserve, about 4km east of Mulwala, is a popular free camping area. It comprises 50ha and 2km of water frontage, though there are no facilities.
“The GMW Yarrawonga team assisted in the clean-up from the storm and has been trialling different methods of reducing wave damage on the foreshore,” Pat Doyle, GMW Senior Reservoir Officer, said.
“GMW has previously trialled synthetic products on the water’s edge and realigned fallen trees in the water for wave protection and is currently trialling Phragmites – a type of wetland grass - planted in jute bags to establish a vegetation barrier against the wave action,” he said.
As well as assisting in vegetation and erosion control, GMW has been involved with other projects at Kiffyn’s Reserve, including native tree planting and fencing programs which are funded by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.
This has also included a 1.5km post and cable barrier project with support of Federation Council. The post and cable will stop people from camping on the water’s edge and causing damage to vegetation and water quality.
The site is patrolled by council officers and rangers.
Emily Mark is a work experience student from Shepparton High School.