Skip to main content

Painkalac Roundtable 2, 27 March 2024

Key agencies and interest groups involved in ongoing discussions about estuary openings were represented at this second Roundtable which had a focus on the ecological health of the Painkalac Creek and Estuary and the impacts of articial openings on this ecosystem. There were sessions from local experts and group discussions between the experts, agencies and community stakeholders.

Roundtable presentations:

Painkalac Roundtable 1, 12 October 2023

The aim of this roundtable was to bring together Council, Agencies and local experts to discuss the artificial openings of the Painkalac Estuary with a focus on the science behind artificial openings, predicting failed openings and the conditions and methods for successful openings. Dr Sarah McSweeney and Callum Edwards presented their work on this topic.

AIDA Painkalac Estuary Community Forum 21 January 2023

On Saturday 21st January 2023 AIDA held a community forum at the Aireys Community Hall on the topic of the health of the Painkalac Creek and its estuary, how it might be impacted by the frequent artificial openings and its suitability for recreational activities. The forum was a resounding success with approximately 120 attendees – both AIDA members and others from the community. Presentations can be found here and below:

Painkalac and Flood Management Engagement Session 26 June 22

AIDA Painkalac Forum 9 April 2016

This excellent forum provided AIDA members with important information about the management of the Painkalac Creek, its estuary and water flows. The presenters were Barwon Water’s Operations Manager, Shaun Cumming; the CCMA’s Strategy and Planning Manager, Jayden Woolley; and the Surf Coast Shire’s Manager of Environment and Community Safety, Rowan MacKenzie. Libby Mears moderated the session.

The forum explored what the fact that the Painkalac Reservoir will no longer be used to supply water to the townships of Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven will mean for the future recreational uses of the reservoir, management of the dam water levels, the impact on water flows down the creek, the health of the estuary and how the decision is made to open the mouth.

Representatives from Barwon Water and the CCMA explained in detail the complexity and importance of environmental flows down the creek. This includes periods of cease-to-low and low flows, high flows, bankful and overbank or flooding flows. The two authorities also explained how they are working together to agree on the management of environmental flows once the reservoir is no longer used for water supply and how these are based on environmental flow studies.

Barwon Water’s presentation included a graph which shows just how little of the inflow into the reservoir is used for the Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven water supply. This means that while there will be more flexibility to use the reservoir to replicate environmental flows once it is no longer used for water supplies, there will only be a small increase in the volume of water released into the creek.

There was also a very interesting and detailed explanation by the Surf Coast Shire and the CCMA about the complexities of the Estuary Entrance Management Support System. This is a decision-making tool used by CCMA to help inform the Council whether to artificially open the mouth. Deakin University developed the system with technical support.

Presentations from this forum:

Painkalac Valley Network home page

Painkalac Resource Repository
Explore the links below to learn about the importance, complexity and wonder of the Painkalac Valley – from the source to the sea:

Types of documents