Victory

Protect Toolondo Reservoir by adjusting current GWM management strategies regarding the trigger point at Rocklands and to include Toolondo separately in GWM's bulk water entitlements.

This petition made change with 1,864 supporters!


The recent bushfires in the Grampians and surrounding areas have attracted a lot of attention for all the wrong reasons. Now on top of this major setback, the people who inhabit this unique part of Victoria have to contend with another looming natural disaster. The only difference being is that this challenge was, and still is, entirely preventable. 

During what is now known as the 'millenium drought' Toolondo Reservoir slowly evaporated, basically back to the level of the three original swamps that Toolondo was created from. The placement of a levy bank on the southern shore back in around 1953 caused the water level to rise and the three swamps became a single body of water known as Toolondo Reservoir. During the drought, with the water level still just above the level of the three original swamps, the lake could maintain most of the life that existed in it. Unfortunately the Rural Water Commission had other plans. With the installation of a huge pump down at water level they instigated the biggest environmental catastrohpy of a unique ecosystem in Wimmera history. As the water level fell and heated up, 1000's of trophy sized brown and rainbow trout slowly turned belly up and started to rot at the waters edge. The same fate occurred to the giant redfin that reached proportions rarely seen in any other impoundment. All the water birds either left or died in the fast becoming stagnant water. A black swan colony that had been there for decades flew off leaving hundreds of baby chicks to die a horrendous death. The eagles left, their huge nests in the trees in the middle of the lake a sad testimony to what had been. Thousands of turtles, literally millions of yabbies, gudgeon, minnows, mudeyes, water snails, freshwater clams all experienced the same fate. All of these creatures were part of a unique ecosystem that helped power a fishery that had achieved growth rates in trout never seen on the Australian Mainland.


Toolondo had been a Mecca for trout anglers from all over the world. Because of the clarity of the water, the fish either got smart real quick, were caught by anglers or eaten by natural predators. The lake held a vast population of incredible trophy sized trout, but, this was all destroyed. The caravan park went broke. The annual Barton Shield, a famous fishing competition that attracted hundreds of fishermen from all over Australia was unfortunately a thing of the past. Local businesses providing accommodation, fuel, bait, fishing tackle and food were effected immensely. Toolondo Reservoir and the township of Toolondo itself, died.


The lake had been a jewel in the crown for the surrounding areas population being known as a holiday destination with camping, water-skiing, yachting, kayaking and swimming just to name a few of the possible pastimes. Generations of farmers could visit the lake and forget their troubles for awhile by taking in the lakes beautiful scenery. Now sadly it looks like nothing has been learnt from this debacle.

 

Toolondo is drying up again.

Toolondo desperately needed an injection of water down the channel from Rocklands, but due to the trigger point for the release of water being ignored by GWM last year, this did not happen. They have their reasons but these reasons do not make sense. For Toolondo to rely on a trigger point at Rocklands when it's current volume of water must be 116,000mL in order for this transfer to occur is not right. GWM have the ultimate power to release the water once the trigger point is met, or not and there is nothing in place to stop them from ignoring their own guidelines. This is what we are fighting for....... to ensure Toolondo is not at the whim of its operating water authority. As a valuable ecologicall, fishery and tourist destination it needs its own laws and protection. It is more than entitled to that.

If nothing happens immedately then history will no doubt repeat itself and the resource will be destroyed, possibly forever or another generation will miss out on the Toolondo experience. It is time for this beautiful place to be protected and get the water it not only needs, but deserves. Please sign our petition so we can protect something that cannot protect itself. We need the water, but above all, we need to protect this iconic place for now, and for the future. Thank-you.


https://www.facebook.com/groups/107505375985544/

Save the lake.

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Toolondo Reservoir Group needs your help with “Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water: Protect Toolondo Reservoir by adjusting current GWM management strategies regarding the trigger point at Rocklands and to include Toolondo separately in GWM's bulk water entitlements.”. Join Toolondo Reservoir Group and 1,863 supporters today.