Future of the Wetlands in the Hawkesbury Forum a success

Hawkesbury-Nepean Landcare Network and Hawkesury Wetlands Group held a forum in June. They presented their Wetlands of Hawkesbury Report which includes assessments done of 35 wetlands in the Catchment and makes practical recommendations that landholders can make to improve their wetlands. There were two break out sessions: 1. A stakeholder session will dedicated to discussing how and what actions stakeholders can take to improve the health of wetlands in the Hawkesbury long-term. 2. An information session for landholders. about their rights and responsibilities of living on a wetlands and a chance to share their challenges, concerns and knowledge. HNLN also discussed future opportunities that may be possible with the Hawkesbury Wetlands group. A fantastic event with key outcomes agreed to and 35 people in attendance including Councillors, staff, community groups, and NRM organisations.

This month, 6 Councillors from Hawkesbury City Council and The Hills Shire Council, organisations, community groups and wetland managers, came together to learn about the current state of wetlands and determine a direction that will improve the future for wetlands and the wildlife that depend on them.

The Future of the Wetlands in the Hawkesbury Forum was organised by Hawkesbury-Nepean Landcare Network the Hawkesbury Wetlands Group and held the Deerubbin Centre in Windsor. Attendees heard from several speakers and participated in discussions about their concerns, challenges and future actions.

“Healthy wetlands benefit us all and are an incredibly important yet undervalued feature in the Hawkesbury Catchment’s landscape. More needs to be done to protect them” said Christine Watson, from Hawkesbury Wetlands Group and HEN.

Hawkesbury-Nepean Landcare Network (HNLN) formally presented their recent landmark report Wetlands of the Hawkesbury Report which includes assessments of 35 wetlands (view online). Hawkesbury Environment Network (HEN) and Blundells Swamp Wildlife Refuge spoke about their efforts to conserve wetlands, the latter highlighting the beauty of wetlands through incredible drone footage and photography. Manali Kherodiya from WSU also presented her Masters research on the Historical Significance of Wetlands.

“Once developers had to prove why they should be allowed to damage the environment for profit, but now the Community has to prove, at length, why the environment needs to be protected” commented Rodney Molesworth, a member of BSWR, “and the time and expense of that task now falls on individuals and cash-starved community groups”.

“We need commitment and action not just from community groups but from organisations too, who can support us with resources, mapping and research” said organiser Katherine Clare, Local Landcare Coordinator.

Participants agreed on future actions including

- a follow up forum focusing on regarding aspects of the landscape entities

- the development of a digital library that compiles information and research about wetlands and is publicly accessible

- highlighting wetlands that are examples of good management where the community can gather


To be involved in wetland conservation and management, please contact the Local Landcare Coordinator via email at landcare@hrcc.nsw.gov.au or call 4574 9600.

You can also join Wetlands of the Hawkesbury Facebook group to stay up to date with all things wetlands.

Recognition for funding and support goes to Supporting and Strengthening Local Communities grant funding, Landcare NSW, Hawkesbury Environment Network and Hawkesbury River County Council.



This Forum follows two similar meetings in 2017 and 2018, the latter where a Draft Implementation Plan for Wetlands was developed which included key aims, objectives, and actions for individual organisations to complete, many which have not been done.


Full Attendees:

__ The organisations represented Hawkesbury City Council, Hawkesbury River County Council (HRCC), Greater Sydney Local Land Services (GSLLS), Sydney Water, the Regional Center for Expertise at WSU, Hawkesbury Nepean River Waterkeepers Alliance (HNRWA), Greater Sydney Landcare Network, Streamwatch (GSLN) and the Richmond Woodlands Key Biodiversity Area. The groups who attended included Hawkesbury Environment Network (HEN), Cattai Hills Environment Network (CHEN), the Macdonald River Keepers and Blundell’s Swamp Refuge.