Water gushes down the West Barwon Reservoir slipway into the Barwon River. (Supplied)


Reservoir floods

West Barwon Reservoir is overflowing for the first time since August 2014, according to Barwon Water, flooding nearby land and forcing the closure of Birregurra-Forrest Road.

Rainfall in January added about 3.6 billion litres of water to the Otways reservoir, while above average rainfall in May and June caused the highest and second-highest increases in storage respectively for those months in a decade, Barwon Water said.

About 255 million litres flowed into the Barwon River in the 24 hours to 9am today, with VicRoads closing Birregurra-Forrest Road due to flooding today.

Barwon Water said the amount was currently decreasing.

Polwarth MP Richard Riordan said a silt build-up had changed the course of the river, with the overflow now “flooding farmers’ paddocks and wasting important environmental flows”.

Mr Riordan blamed state government and authorities for taking “no action” to prevent the flooding and demanded VicRoads install a new culvert on Birregurra-Forrest Road so it could reopen.

Waste diversion

Surf Coast residential waste going to landfill has dropped lower than in 2005 despite significant population growth since, according to Surf Coast Shire Council.

About 39 per cent of waste, 1774 tonnes, went to landfill, while new purple-lidded residential bins helped collect 694 tonnes of glass for recycling.

From February to June the shire’s new food and garden organics service collected 3121 tonnes for composting, with overall green waste collection increasing by 37 per cent.

Species protected

A $3 million initiative to protect threatened species such as the swamp antechinus, also known as the little Tasmanian marsupial mouse, has commenced in the Otways.

Corangamite Catchment Management Authority this week announced the commencement of five projects in federal government’s three-year Wild Otways Initiative.

Research boost

Deakin University’s ground-breaking research, from developing anti-viral facemasks to improving protective motorcycling clothing, has received a $5 million federal government grant.

Federal senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson announced the funding this week as part of the $74 million Industrial Transformation Research Program.