Rivers of Carbon – Source Water Linkages

This region was an important meeting place, which means that it wasn’t just inhabited by one particular Aboriginal group, but had many.  We recognise the Mulwaree, Wollondilly, Wiradjuri, Gundungurra, Dharrook, Tharawal, Tarlo, Pajong, Parramarragoo, Cookmal, Burra Burra, Lachlan and Ngunawal people.  We acknowledge their continuing connection with, and knowledge about land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging.
Adapted from: Welcome to Country & Acknowledgement of Country – Creative Spirits

Our RoC team (L to R) Siwan Lovett, Ian Ryaner, Lucy Wenger, Nagy Sorial, Ian (Margaret's Dad), Margaret Sorial and Lori Gould

“Water is the most critical resource issue of our lifetime and our children’s lifetime. The health of our waters is the principal measure of how we live on the land.”

– Luna Leopold, Hydrologist

Project Purpose:

Rivers of Carbon – Source Water Linkages began in 2017 and is a partnership between Rivers of Carbon and WaterNSW to protect and restore river and riparian areas in Sydney’s water catchments. This is a large area encompassing Braidwood, Goulburn and the Southern Highlands, and we are delighted to be working with landholders who are keen to manage their rivers, creeks, wetlands or ponds, to reduce erosion, improve water quality, stabilise banks and boost biodiversity through revegetation. Managing stock is central to our on-ground work, so fencing and off stream watering are also key strategies we develop with landholders.

Our approach is to work with landholders to achieve a range of objectives. We visit your property and work with you to develop a plan for your riparian area that may involve fencing, small-scale erosion works and revegetation. Once we agree with you about what you want to achieve, and it fits within our Rivers of Carbon objectives, we will bring it together in a ten year Greening Australia Management Agreement that both parties sign. These Agreements are straight forward, common sense and easy to follow. We will then assist you in planning and undertaking the works. We generally cover at least half of the costs involved in implementing the Management Agreement, with the landholder also contributing cash and in-kind support.

In addition to getting works done on your place, you become part of our Rivers of Carbon community with access to workshops, field days and our friendly team. We believe that looking after our ‘social capital’, which is made up of people, relationships and networks, is just as important as our ‘natural capital’ which are the rivers, streams and wetlands we want to restore.

Source Water Linkages Project Area

Click to enlarge. Source: Angela Calliess, Greening Australia

Upcoming Workshops: Caring for our waterways and managing bushland on farms

Join us for a one stop shop information day for landholders to learn about priority environmental issues relevant to the farm or lifestyle block, and some practical options and incentives for management. Hear from experts from different organisations about waterway management, bushland and habitat management including koalas and sustainable farming.


Lori Gould – Rivers of Carbon
Lachlan Willmott – Department of Planning and Environment – Koala project
Karen Guymer and Patrick Tegart – Wingecarribee Shire Council – Koala project
Ian Rayner – Greening Australia
Jacqueline Holland – South East Local Land Services

Registrations are essential. Please select your preferred location and day.

Our Work in Action:

Property: Wongajong

This 150 acre site is located just out of Goulburn, NSW and includes a 1.5km stretch of the Wollondilly River. Rivers of Carbon is working with the property owners Margaret and Nagy to reverse the damage along the bank from cattle grazing, lift biodiversity and groundcover in the area, and protect it from erosion.

 Our walk at ‘Wongajong’ workshop

Our ‘walk at Wongajong’  was a great morning and you can share the experience through our photo story.   We talked about riparian restoration, water quality, animal health and understanding our waterways through Aboriginal eyes.

Click here to access the story.

Property: Lockyersleigh

The ‘Lockyersleigh’ property covers 3,500 hectares, and is one of the largest landholdings in the Goulburn region of New South Wales. Over the past two decades property owner, Matt Onions, has undertaken riparian restoration projects in partnerships with multiple organisations, including Rivers of Carbon, to farm productively whilst also protecting biodiversity and reducing erosion.

Property: Tirranna

This 5,000 acre property with one of the last remaining ‘chain-of-ponds’ systems, is just outside of Goulburn, NSW and includes a 17.8 acre riparian project area, with 2km stretching along the Mulwaree River. Rivers of Carbon is working closely with the Gibson family to restore this property which now has cropping country and a beautiful native riparian corridor that is home to many waterfowl and other species.

Project Timeline:

2018 - 2024

Outcomes achieved so far:

80 landholders involved

Working across 51 sites

62.5 kms of riparian area fenced

159 ha of riparian area protected

Planting of 27030 plants

Many activities, 2000+ people engaged

10+ practical resources created

Practical Resources

WaterNSW, in partnership with the Australian River Restoration Centre is serious about sharing knowledge to support landholders wanting to better manage their riparian areas. Working together we have developed several products that translate the science of waterway management into practical and accessible resources:

Stock and Waterways: A NSW Manager’s Guide

As part of the Source Water Linkages project, the Stock and Waterways guide was updated in conjunction with farmers and practitioners in different parts of New South Wales to improve the on-farm management of riparian land. The guide is based on the principle that riparian land forms an important part of the entire farm, and should be managed taking into account its special needs. Both a print edition and website were produced to allow ease of accessibility.

Print Edition

Visit Website

Buffers Sponges and Moderators

In the face of a changing climate, one that is expected to bring increased extremes in weather patterns, wouldn’t it be nice to have a riparian system you could describe as ‘buffers, sponges and moderators’. The swampy meadow does just that, as a result of the combination of the landform, the hydrology and the dense vegetation it supports, and is a gem when it comes to bringing resilience to the waterways, farms and wildlife of this dry old continent.

Learn More

Download Fact Sheet

“Thank you for creating Stock and Waterways – such a fantastic resource that is easy to understand and shows practical solutions. I have no doubt it will be a useful tool for our teams to drive landholders to for greater understanding.”

– Kurt Laboyrie, Soil Conservation Service

Guide: Protecting and restoring our threatened Australian native plant species

This guide, prepared by David Taylor and Siwan Lovett, shares more about the threatened native plants in our region, enabling us to integrate the protection and restoration of these species into our river and land management efforts.

Read Guide

Guide: Collecting and caring for seed from Australian native plants

The reintroduction of species into the landscape relies on seed collection for plant propagation and direct seeding. This handy guide from Greening Australia and Rivers of Carbon covers things you need to think about when collecting, propagating and storing native seed.

Read Guide

Get Involved:

We have a flyer you can download for more information, as well as an Expression of Interest form you are welcome to take a look at and complete. You can also contact Ian Rayner or Lori Gould to have a chat, their details are below.

Ian Rayner, Greening Australia:
📞0400 428 749

Lori Gould, RoC Program Manager:
📞0439 030 058

Extended project: Rivers of Carbon Mulwaree

Rivers of Carbon Mulwaree is an extension of our Rivers of Carbon Source Water Linkages project funded by our partners WaterNSW. The project was developed in recognition of the importance of the Mulwaree Ponds region, and the need for a smaller, targeted effort working with a few landholders to protect and restore this valuable chain of ponds system. Read more about Mulwaree by following this link.

River Styles Short Course 2019 class presenting at Mulwaree Ponds at Kelburn. Photo credit: Kirstie Fryirs.
Report on the geomorphic condition, and protection and rehabilitation priorities for Mulwaree chain-of-ponds

View Report

Please contact Kirstie Fryers at kirstie.fryirs@mq.edu.au for more information.

Download our handy resource pack:

Stay connected:

If you would like to keep up to date with our work then please subscribe to the Australian River Restoration Centre’s free e-newsletter below as this will advertise any upcoming activities.

    Our work is being funded through our partnership with WaterNSW. We also work closely with South-east Local Land Services who offer support for broader landscape and erosion issues through their Rural Landscapes Program.