Up until 1985 the banks of the Macquarie River at Bathurst were used as a dumping ground and rubbish tip, the precinct was very much degraded. Bathurst City Council decided that the rehabilitation of the banks of the Macquarie River should be the town’s Bi-Centennial project. Macquarie Rivercare Bathurst Inc. was formed under Chairman Nevil Barlow to oversee this rehabilitation and by 1988 the river was in a much more presentable state.
Restoration plans were developed for planting, cleaning and willow removal with the aim of increasing aquatic and bird life as well as making the river precinct a pleasant, passive recreation area for the citizens of Bathurst. A beautiful Bi-Centennial Park has been established as a result and hundreds of people use it daily.
The group applied for and received a National Heritage Trust grant for an academic study in partnership with Dr David Goldney from CSU to restore the riparian zone between Bathurst city and the Ben Chifley Dam along the Campbell’s River.
Achievements have been significant. Thousands of native trees, shrubs and grasses have been planted out. The “Ecological Status and Restoration of Degraded Riparian Zones in the Upper Macquarie Catchment” study report has been well received and is presently used as a “best practice” guide to rehabilitation work. A series of 10 brochures on restoration practices has been sent to all landholders along the Upper Macquarie Catchment. Restoration work is progressing but has been delayed by the ongoing drought.
A major creek and wetland re-development of the Raglan Creek is planned for the near future. Some $200,000 is envisaged in this programme in conjunction with Central West Catchment Management Authority and Bathurst Regional Council.
Over 20 years Macquarie Rivercare has been an active, community based organisation that has achieved real and lasting results for the people and environment of Bathurst.
The support of Bathurst Regional Council, Conservation Volunteers Australia, Greening Bathurst, Central West Catchment Management Authority, corporate groups such as Simplot and Country Energy, local schools including All Saints’ College and Kelso High School, Radio 2BS and the Western Advocate have been significant contributors to making all this possible.
Chairman Macquarie Rivercare
A copy of this study is available at Bathurst City Library, CSU Library and Conservation Volunteers in George Street.
The brochure is one of 10 in a series sent out to landholders in the Upper Macquarie catchment. Brochure series available at Bathurst City Library, CSU Library and Conservation Volunteers in George Street or by contacting Greening Bathurst.