AFTER some serious repairs and refurbishment, the Yea Wetlands have now reopened.
The wetlands are a significant tourist destination for the Murrindindi region and an important asset to the local community. They were considerably impacted by the flood event in October 2022.
Don Knight, chairperson of Yea Wetlands Discovery Centre, said it was disappointing to have had them closed for as long as they were.
“The Yea Wetlands Discovery Centre is the gateway to the wetlands and having to tell people that they can’t go out there is an absolute disappointment,” he said. “And we rely on that income to run the centre, so you can imagine there’s been a fair impact on our revenue stream and certainly not being able to allow the visitors to get out there and enjoy the wetlands was disappointing.
“It is a relief to have them open again, a tremendous relief, but it’s now done and it’s onwards and upwards,” he said.
A lot of work was undertaken to get the wetlands up and running again. Fallen trees were cut up and removed, a lot of mud and leaves were cleaned up and the boardwalks have been pressure washed to now be “clean as a whistle,” Mr Knight said.
A recent fundraiser, that included a performance by the Royal Australian Navy Band, and was attended by more than 150 people, raised a considerable amount of money for the remediation of the wetlands.
“We raised approximately $4200 and all of that money, every cent of that, will go into tree planting, replacing a lot of the trees that we lost, indigenous trees, and we’ve got a lot of invasive weed species that have turned up in the floods that need to be eradicated as well and it will go a long way towards helping us out with that,” said Mr Knight.
Visitors are asked to be mindful that some pathways may be a bit slippery due to recent wet weather and a build-up of leaf litter. This may limit accessibility for prams and wheelchairs until all the pathways have been resurfaced.
A section of damaged boardwalk remains closed currently, but over the coming weeks works will continue to resurface the pathways and rebuild the still damaged areas of boardwalk.
Image: Some of damaged caused to the Yea Wetlands in the October 2022 flood.