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Macquarie Marshes enhanced water project

Macquarie Marshes enhanced water project

Higher flow rates to improve bird and animal habitats.

About the project

The Macquarie Marshes is one of the largest remaining inland semi-permanent wetlands in the state’s central north-west. The area is an important nesting site for many native and waterbird species and provides a habitat for other animals.

The flow-dependent vegetation of the Macquarie River floodplain and Macquarie Marshes rely on a variety of flows to maintain them, including large ‘freshes’ to support the vegetation and wildlife.

The Macquarie Marshes Enhanced Watering project will improve environmental watering to the marshes during dry periods by reducing the volume of water lost from the river via an eroded stream. Other works will investigate improving the connection of the river to the floodplain.

Potential infrastructure solutions include bed restoration works at the inlet to the Oxley Break No 3 and works at the Mumblebone Breaks upstream of Marebone Weir. We’re reviewing options and assessing the best way to complete this work.

The project is funded by the Australian Government and is being delivered by Water Infrastructure NSW in partnership with Department of Planning and Environment – Environment and Heritage Group.

Project benefits

The works will generate significant environmental benefits including:

  • higher flow rates to the Macquarie Marshes to support native vegetation and wildlife
  • improved connection of the river and wetlands to the floodplain
  • enhanced control of flows through key areas in the south marsh
  • stabilisation of eroding streams.

Project location

The Oxley Break No.3 and the Mumblebone Breaks are located in Macquarie Marshes Nature Reserve, which is in central north-west NSW, around 80 km north of Warren and 30 km west of Quambone.

Project map

View a map (PDF, 259 KB) of the Macquarie Marshes Enhanced Watering project area.

Stakeholder engagement

We will provide ample opportunities for local communities and stakeholders to have their say on the project throughout its stages of development and delivery, and this feedback will be used as a key input into project decision-making. Upcoming engagement opportunities will be listed on this webpage and on our stakeholder engagement page.

Engagement with First Nations people

We recognise and acknowledge the unique relationship and deep Connection-to-Country First Nations people have as the Traditional Owners and First Peoples of Australia.

The wisdom and experience of First Nations communities will play a critical role in supporting our approach. We have a dedicated engagement team who will guide our engagement with these communities, and we look forward to working with them to deliver real, tangible and widely accepted outcomes.

Contact us for more information


1300 081 047

Photo credit: Nicola Brookhouse, Department of Planning and Environment