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Funding secured to save and restore precious wetland habitat in northern Victoria

Wetland Revival Trust is thrilled to announce that they have secured the $750,000 needed for the purchase and restoration of Wirra-Lo, a 180-hectare property near Kerang, Victoria, which is home to more than 30 rare and threatened species. 

Hundreds of people passionate about protecting the environment donated to secure the long-term protection of Wirra-Lo.  Not only will their hard-earned money make a difference but it was subsequently matched by the Victorian Government. Every dollar donated was doubled under the Nature Fund program, which is delivered by the Victorian Government.  Nature Fund provided $549,000 over three years, adding to the $243,000 which was raised by donors and supporters of Wetland Revival Trust. Some of Wetland Revival Trust’s major supporters include Wettenhall Environment Trust, Purryburry Trust and the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network. 

The entire team at Wetland Revival Trust are humbled that they can continue to move forward with confidence in creating significant improvements to habitat quality across the project landscape in northern Victoria.  Eighty percent of wetlands in Victoria are on private land and at high risk of threats.  The protection of wetlands in the broader Southern Murray Darling Basin is one of our main aims and we are one step closer to that thanks to our supporters. 

Restoration ecologists and Wetland Revival Trust co-founders Damien Cook and Elaine Bayes said it was a momentous occasion for the entire team.

“Wetland Revival Trust has worked closely with retired owners Ken and Jill Hooper at Wirra-Lo to create this flourishing ecosystem.  Their commitment and passion for this property is unwavering so it is an honour that we can continue with the important work and that includes providing communities with opportunities to engage with this beautiful landscape,” says Damien.

“Our priority over the next year will be to monitor the effects of the current flood on threatened species, establish a management committee that includes Ken and Jill Hooper and representatives from the Barapa Barapa and Wemba Wemba Traditional Owner Groups and consolidate plans for the ongoing habitat restoration at Wirra-lo and neighbouring properties with our project partners,” he said. 

“The grant will enable us to realise the vision of Wirra-Lo becoming a drought refuge and safe haven for some of the most threatened wetland animals and plants in Australia.”

Elaine Bayes said the $750,000 in funding support, together with other grants, will help to restore Wirra-Lo. 

“We are extremely excited to have received the Nature Fund grant and are looking forward to implementing the restoration works to improve the habitat of the Australasian Bittern, Growling Grass Frog and Grey-crowned Babbler,” Elaine says.

“They say it takes a village, and for Wirra-Lo, it has been a true labour of love for not only the team at Wetland Revival Trust, but to our volunteers, donors and supporters to get to where we are today.  The future continues to be promising and our commitment in restoring this picturesque and invaluable part of Victoria to its former glory is firmly set,” she says.

Wetland Revival Trust is a not-for-profit landscape-scale restoration organisation working with Traditional Owners and the broader community to protect and restore high value wetlands, waterways and their catchments. Established in 2021, Wetland Revival Trust is a registered charity focused on the southern Murray Darling Basin region.

The purchase and restoration of Wirra-lo is supported by the Victorian Government through the Nature Fund Program.


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