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Kooma Traditional Owners Association Incorporated: Nebine Waterhole

Kooma Traditional Owners Association Incorporated: Nebine Waterhole

Bottle number: 74

About the water

A colour photo of members of KTOAI and Melbourne Water Water Samplers.
Kooma Traditional Owners Association Incorporated (KTOAI) and Melbourne Water Water Samplers.

Collected at: The Nebine Waterhole, Murra Murra, Queensland

The Nebine Waterhole is located adjacent to the Murra Murra station.

X: 479,937.73, Y: 872,779.52

View location on Google map

Collected by: Kooma Traditional Owners Association Incorporated (KTOAI), Melbourne Water (MW)

Kooma are commited to caring for country and leaving a 'footprint on the land that is deeply imbedded in the earth, for future generations to walk in with pride and dignity' (Cheryl Buchanan, Chairperson of KTOAI).

Melbourne Water staff have been working in partnership with KTOAI to record the values and threats of waterways and wetlands and to protect and improve the health of Waterways and wetlands on the Murra Murra and Bendee Downs properties. The partnership has also been an opportunity to embrace the connection between cultural and environmental values, and to share knowledge between the parties.

Water quality:

Turbidity: Medium
pH: 8.1
Salinity Electrical conductivity 80 µS/cm
Dissolved oxygen: 8.4 ppm – 92%

The water quality at this site is slightly turbid, potentially due to carp living in the waterhole.

ACT Waterwatch says:

These folks really know their stuff, and seem quite on the ball managing their waterhole. Increasing understorey vegetation should help them get the turbidity under control, as well as further work controlling carp. Bravo.

The Nebine Waterhole adjacent to the Murra Murra Station.
The Nebine Waterhole adjacent to the Murra Murra Station.

About the site

Murra Murra and Bendee Downs have been acquired by the Indigenous Land Corporation for the 'social, cultural and educational benefit of all Kooma people'. On 1 July 2000, Kooma Traditional Owners Association Incorporated (KTOAI) were registered to be the holding body for the properties, allowing Kooma People to walk freely on the Murra Murra and Bendee Downs sections of the Kooma Nation.

The properties encompass ecologically important creeks and wetlands that form part of the Murray Darling System, including the Nebine Creek.

Sample 74 was taken from the Nebine waterhole, the only permanent waterhole on the Nebine Creek.

The Nebine Creek drains to the Culgoa River via Burbar Creek and then into the Darling River system. Similar to other creeks in the region, the Nebine is an ephemeral system and only flows after lots of rainfall in the upper catchment.

The Nebine waterhole is located behind the Murra Murra homestead, and is approximately 4km long. The creek is thought to average approximately two metres in depth, and has never been known to dry.

The waterhole provides an important refuge for aquatic animals as well as land animals for most of the year when no other surface water is available. The creek is a major regional riparian corridor, containing critical habitat for native fish, water rats, koalas, other tree-dwelling mammals and a population of the Murray turtle Emydura macquarii.

Whilst valuable for wildlife, the waterhole water is turbid (muddy) and not suitable for drinking. The dominant riparian vegetation is River Red Gums, Coolibah and Poplar Box trees and is found within the region known as the Mulga Lands Bioregion.

What's going on:

Plans are underway on the property for the entire length of the Nebine Creek (including a buffer of 200m each bank), to be included under an Indigenous Protected Area.

As part of the Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative (GABSI), KTOAI are in the process of regulating the artesian bore which has been running unregulated for over 100 years. When the bore is regulated, the wildlife refuge value of the water hole will increase due to the reduced availability of surface water on the properties, making certain fauna more dependent on the waterhole.

The inaugural Catch a Carp competition was held this year at the Nebine waterhole with which was an event for Kooma people and other members of the local community to spend time on the land, help rid the waterhole of carp and learn more about some of the flora and fauna of the area. In addition to this event there are many other cultural and environmental events which the KTOAI hold each year including around the waterhole, including: Green School and Emu Fest which is attended by youths from Cunnamulla.

KTOAI and Melbourne Water have been recording the condition and ecological and cultural values of waterways and wetlands on the Murra Murra and Bendee Downs properties and the threats to these values. Specifically the team have been investigating and assessing:

  • Water quality;
  • Vegetation communities and species;
  • Bird life;
  • Erosion gullies;
  • Presence of feral animals; and
  • Presence of weed species.