Yarrahapinni Wetlands Restoration

  • YEAR: 2019
  • STATE: New South Wales
  • FOCUS AREAS: Cultural Heritage/Healing our Land/Saving Species/SDG 15: Life on Land

Stage 1: is to complete the necessary project start-up tasks to facilitate the stage 2 on-ground construction works required to decommissioning the earthen levee. This will include: Finalise detailed design works. Consultation with stakeholders and approval concurrence, complete Construction Environmental Management Plan, other work safe and erosion plans.

Stage 2: On-site construction, supervision and management for the decommissioning of the eastern levee and floodgate / headwall structure. This will include: Access for machinery plan, vegetation removal, Excavation of 1700m(cube) of levee material, Erosion works at current flow point, Deposition of surplus material, re-configuring current structures, planting of 1000 native tube stock in areas. De-mobilisation of plant and compound.

FNPW support

This project was funded through generous donations from FNPW supporters across Australia and beyond.

Project overview

The technical modelling has identified a high priority to undertake this work to allow the wetland ecosystem to operate hydrologically to its more natural state. The project will also remedy damage occurring to the system from artificial gate and levee – ie erosion of banks and restricted waterflow.

Community engagement and cultural heritage planning aspect for Yarrahapinni Wetlands Restoration project

An Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit (AHIP) prescribed under section 90A of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NPW Act) needs to be undertaken for the yarrahapinni Wetlands NP. This process will compile the reserves technical cultural heritage details, significant cultural consultation and produce an Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment Report. This report identifies impacts and management intent to allow projects to comply with legislation. It is planned to engage an archaeological consultant to develop an AHIP over the next 6 months – concurrently with reserve project plans(Levee wall, Cultural activities and infrastructure and NPWS operations broadly).

Engage an Archaeological consultant to undertake an AHIP for Yarrahapinni Wetlands NP to develop legislative compliance to allow and support reserve wetland and cultural management operations. Significant engagement of the Clybucca Custodian Committee and Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs). This will include meetings, site visits, logistical issues and community capacity support to input to project.

The outcomes of this will include:

  • Legislative compliance.
  • Greater and more comprehensive aboriginal community/stakeholder consultation and decision outcomes.
  • Supporting community capacity to input to projects.
  • Best Practice project actions that limit, reduce or enhance impacts on cultural sites within reserve.


FNPW supports projects across Australia. In the spirit of reconciliation we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture.


The project was is due for completion in 2021.


NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service is the lead organisation for this project.

Further information about our project partner can be found on their website:


Latest news on this project.

The final phase of the project is now being planned whereby the removal of the artificial levee bank is planned to be removed to restore the natural water flow across multiple low points. Currently water flow is through a narrow set of flood gates. This is not the natural flow and channels the flow rate through this narrow gate system causing erosion.

This work will be undertaken by the NSW Soil Conservation service as per the technical specifications undertaken for the project – Re-introduce natural tidal flows to Yarrahapinni Wetlands NP. Reduce additional deterioration to the estuarine wetlands, associated habitats and flora and fauna assemblages and water quality. Restore natural flow regimes to facilitate the natural restoration and rehabilitation of the estuarine wetlands, habitats and ecosystems, transforming the area from a degraded saline/freshwater wetland and declining ecological function to a complex mosaic of estuarine and aquatic habitats. Threatened species and communities include: – Swamp sclerophyll forest, Swamp oak forest, Coastal saltmarsh, littoral rainforest and subtropical coastal floodplain forest. Also Cynanchum elegans – TSC and EPBC Endangered Spp. Also TSC Act:

Maundia triglochinoides, Phaius australis, Oberonia titania and Asperula asthenes

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