Region: Strzeleckis Legal Number: LEGL/93-90/1

Key Strzelecki Warm Temperate Rainforest Site

Little Albert River and Billy Creek Catchments (between yellow lines) showing extent of plantations within catchment (numbers eg 75 refer to the year of plantation establishment). Most (approximately 500ha) appear to have occurred between 1970-1975. Post September 1976-85 a concoction of Amitrole (Weedagol T.L. Plus) and (Gesaprim 500) Atrazine may have been sprayed. In 2002 scientists in the United States found that Atrazine at levels as low of 0.1part per billion altered hormones in frogs. Since then Atrazine has been found to have the same effect across a range of animals. 500ha would probably have been sprayed with the Atrazine (4 l/ha/Amitrole 7l/ha) mixture. Totals 2000 litres Atrazine, 3500 litres Amitrole). The highest risk years for drinking water quality would have been between 1970-2, 1975-82.

Prior to September 1976, it is highly likely that aerial application of 2,4,5-T @ 1.1 litres a hectare occurred. ~500ha would have been aerially sprayed with 2,4,5-T.

Total amount used 1970/5 would have been 550L mixed with 25,000 litres of diesel. How much of this ended up in Albert River/Billy Creek?

Perhaps 25 house lie downstream of these plantations, possibly meaning that between 50-75 people could have been impacted by drinking pesticide tainted water.

A relic of Gondwanaland

LEGL 93-90h: November 2001: Little Albert River.



Plantation: Albert

Conservation Priority: High

Area within PaperlinX area of supply.

Area within Planthard Hardwoods (Drouin West Sawmills) area of supply.

Area within Brown and Dureau Softwoods (Morwell) area of supply.

Located in Yarram Water Supply Protection Area - Groundwater

Strzelecki Ranges Maps Here

Hancock Site visit:

This is a large plantation centering on Turtons Track which runs along the ridge between the Little Albert River catchment to the north and Billys Creek and Golden Creek to the south. The plantation is about 7km in length and about 3km from north to south. There is quite a large amount of native vegetation within the plantation boundary and the plantation is mainly pine with some hardwood plantations as well.

This is a small plantation which lies south of the Madalya Road in the Albert River catchment. Mostly dominated by radiata pine established in the late 70's/early eighties. There is a small stand of remnant old growth near the junction of Egans Road and Madalya Road. This is very narrow and hugs the roadside. Some small patches of native vegetation were also visible along tributaries of the Albert River. Some of the slopes in this plantation appear to be quite steep in places and therefore the area is given a medium conservation ranking.

LEGL 93-90a: November 2001: Old growth in Little Albert River catchment.

LEGL 93-90d: November 2001: Old growth near the Little Albert River inside plantation boundary.

Access into the plantation was made via the western edge of Turtons Track, just off the Midland Highway. It was apparent when driving north up the Midland Highway that there remains a large area of remnant vegetation inside the plantation just south of cleared farmland. After driving along Turtons Track I stopped at Toon Road and went south. From pine plantations just off Toon Road it was evident that a sizeable amount of regenerating blackwood native vegetation was present on the south slopes - a tributary of Billys Creek. From Toons Road we headed east along Turtons Track and then Old Turtons Track. After a couple of km's we stopped at a track leading north into the Little Albert River catchment. There was a large amount of young messmate stretching for about one km at this point on the south eastern portion of the Little Albert River catchment.

LEGL 93-90j: November 2001: Regenerating native forest within Hancock plantations on tributary of Little Albert River.

Remant stands of Warm Temperate Rainforest are located within pine plantations in this plantation area. Strzeleckis warm temperate rainforest is entirely restricted to the lowland valleys of the Strzelecki Ranges in South Gippsland. There are no equivalent vegetation types in previous descriptions of rainforest in Victoria and it does not occur outside the state. Strzeleckis Warm Temperate rainforest is extremely fragmented and was initially cleared by farmers. It is of national importance! Strzelecki Warm Temperate Rainforest is the most endangered Ecological Vegetation Class in the Strzelecki Bioregion.

We followed the track into the catchment crossing three regenerating tributaries of the Little Albert River, including regenerating Blackwood forest. Where the track meets the Little Albert River was saw enourmous ash trees and manna gums. A slender tree fern was also observed. The river appeared to the running quite clear. It is estimated that this riparian vegetation most likely stretches for some 3km along the Little Albert River almost to its headwaters. We then headed further east along Old Turtons Track until we reached a substantial amount of old growth native vegetation almost at the end of the track. It was also clear that there had been pine logging a year or so ago on the southern slopes of the plantation. There was some patches of indigenous vegetation on these south eastern slopes of the plantation. We followed the track back to the Midland Highway and travelled north. From cleared farmland it was possible to get views of the Little Albert River Catchment. Although much of the catchment is degraded there were patches of old growth visible from the highway and it should not be discounted that there is the possibility of myrtle beech being found in the catchment.

Herbicides Used by Grand Ridge Plantations - Strzelecki Ranges and Gippsland Victoria

This plantation was very likely to be aerially sprayed with 2,4,5-T between 1970 and 1975. The Dioxin TCDD may still exist in soil in this plantation. For more historical data on 2,4,5-T click here. For more information concerning the continuing health crisis concerning 2,4,5-T please forward to here.

Herbicide Regime (from incomplete information provided by Gippsland Water):

October 2000: 18 ha was sprayed with 144 Litres of Lontrel L (with 20% Ulvapron - a surfactant) to kill regenerating silver wattle.


Herbicide Label Rate max as kg/ha Used to control Euc/Rad Notes Application
Clopyralid 2.55 Woody Weeds Radiata and Eucalypts Highly Toxic/Potential Ground water Contaminant aerial or ground
Glufosinate Ammonium 1 Woody Weeds Radiata   aerial or ground
Glyphosate 3.6 Herbaceous and woody weeds, noxious weeds Radiata, Eucalpts and Custodial    
Haloxyfop-methyl 0.13 Annual and Pernneial Grasses Eucalypts Carcinogen aerial or ground
Hexazinone 4 Woody Weeds Radiata Ground Water Contaminant Aerial, ground, spot
Metsulfuron-Methyl 0.06 Woody Weeds, Noxious Weeds Radiata, Eucalyptus and Custodial Potential Ground Water Contaminant Aerial, ground or spot
Sulfometuron Methyl 0.6 Annual and Perennial Grasses and broadleaf weeds Eucalyptus Potential Ground Water Contaminant Aerial or Ground


THREATENED FISH NOTES - STRZELECKI STREAMS: Habitat forSpotted Galaxias, Mountain Galaxias, Broadfinned Galaxias, Tupong , Blackfish and the FFG listed Australian Grayling..

LEGL 93-90e: November 2001: Close up of old growth tree trunk near the Little Albert River.

LEGL 93-90g: November 2001: Old growth trees near Little Albert River.

Responsible Authority: Wellington Shire Council

Plantation Catchment:
a) Many HW Little Albert River/Albert River
b) HW 2 tribs Golden Creek/Billy Creek/Albert River
c) Many tribs Billy Creek/Albert River

LEGL 93-90f: November 2001:Regenerating forest on tributary on the southern slopes of the Little Albert River.

LEGL 93-90I: November 2001: Slender Tree Fern near Little Albert River.

Catchment Managment Authority: West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority

Little Albert River, Staceys Bridge: A fast flowing stream running through partly cleared hills, rock bottom. Contains brown trout to 350g, average size very small, abundant small river blackfish, short finned eel, tupong and grayling.

Albert River - Above Staceys Bridge: A fast flowing stream running through partly cleared hills, rock bottom. Contains brown trout to 350g, abundant, mainly small river blackfish, tupong and grayling.

Albert River - Below Staceys Bridge: Flows through open country, mud and sand bottom. Highly modified by agriculture, water is often turbid with wide variations in flow and water level. Where the habitat is suitable, trout will be found but, like the Agnes River, these areas are relatively inaccessible. Eels abundant and a few brown trout from 200 to 600g, occasional small river blackfish. Estuarine section often has estuary perch.

Source: A Guide to the Inland Angling Waters of Victoria by BR Tunbridge, PL Rogan, CA Barnham. Department Conservation and Environment. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, 123 Brown St, Heidelberg, 3084. (4th ed - 1991)



LEGL 93-90b: November 2001: Near headwaters of the Little Albert River. Note possible old growth centrer and just right of centre in photo, all within Hancock holdings.

Little Albert River Albert River Spotted Galaxias Common Galaxias Broadfinned Galaxias Tupong Blackfish Australian Grayling High Strzeleckis