Western Dryland Plains


The Western Dryland Plains includes the traditional lands of clans represented by the Barengi Gadjin Land Council (west of Avon River), Dja Dja Wurrung (south-east of Lake Buloke and Avon River) and Barapa Barapa (north-east of Lake Buloke) peoples.

This is the westernmost part of the north central region, and the landscape is dominated by broadacre cereal cropping on large farms.  Increased mechanisation of cropping enterprises, has led to fewer, larger farms and population decline in this area. A trend which has slowed, but is still ongoing.

Natural assets in this area include Lake Buloke, York Plains wetlands, the Bunguluke and Lower Avoca Grasslands. The Avon- Richardson Rivers and the lower Avoca River flow through this area.

There is a relatively low proportion of native vegetation in this landscape, and there are ongoing concerns regarding the illegal removal of native vegetation, particularly of threatened native grasslands.

This area has lower average rainfall compared with the south eastern parts of the region and waterways are vulnerable to the hotter, drier conditions predicted with climate change. The Wimmera Mallee Pipeline which replaced open channels, currently delivers environmental water to seven wetlands in this area, providing a much-needed refuge for wildlife. Waterways in this dry landscape are a precious resource, valued by community for: recreation, as green spaces which improve the livability of towns and for the environment. Through engagement for RCS renewal, we noted concerns regarding water quality in some areas, and some tensions between recreational and environmental uses.

In our changing climate, with reduced water availability overall, we anticipate sharing benefits will only become more challenging. It will be important to work together to raise awareness of water resource constraints and make the most of every drop. Integrated Water Management in urban areas will be important. Investigating opportunities to restore some natural flows to the Avon Plains wetlands and deliver environmental water to other wetlands have also been identified as priorities for this area.