The East Gippsland Region covers an area of 2.13 million ha - nearly 10% of Victoria and within the Region over 1.70 million ha is public land with 268,000 ha of this being National Parks. Private land in the Region (419,300 ha) is concentrated on red gum plains, coastal plains, mountain plateau and fertile river valleys. The main agricultural enterprises include dairying, wool production, cattle and sheep production and vegetable production. The region's lakes, forests, rivers and alps are a key feature in underpinning an increasing tourism industry. The extensive natural resources of the region also support the timber, fishing and mining industries.
The region includes the Mitchell, Tambo, Snowy and Far East Gippsland river basins within Victoria including; the Bemm, Cann, Thurra and Genoa Rivers.
These rivers are amongst Victoria's and Australia's most valuable environmental and heritage assets. These river systems flow to the Southern Ocean through extensive and very important estuarine systems, including the Gippsland Lakes the estuaries of the Snowy and Bemm Rivers, the Inlets of Tamboon and Mallacoota.
The flows in these rivers tend to be dominated by rain depressions. Scientific studies have shown that the flows in East Gippsland rivers are amongst the most highly variable in the world: from very low flows for extended periods to enormous flood flows for short periods. Flood flows can rapidly erode river beds and banks, producing sediment that is deposited within river channels and estuaries, or on the floodplain downstream.
The region includes the city of Bairnsdale along with the coastal towns of Paynesville, Metung, Lakes Entrance, and Mallacoota and the hinterland towns of Dargo, Bruthen, Buchan, Omeo, Swifts Creek, Orbost, Cann River and Genoa.