Lots to celebrate at Barrett’s Lagoon

Dianne Mauloni
April 21, 2016

Crowd gather at Barretts Lagoon for sign unveilinig

Weeds and Wildlife Open Day at Smiths Gap - April 2016

Cane farmers and traditional owners celebrated together their achievements of restoring an area of environmental importance in Tully. 

Barrett’s Lagoon was a hive of activity on Saturday 16th April when a cross section of the Tully community came together to celebrate two events - the restoration of the Lagoon by canefarmers in the area and the involvement of traditional owners in managing coastal country. 

Canegrowers manager Peter Lucy said Hymenachne in wetlands has been problematic for Tully farmers for several years.  

Peter said, “At Barrett’s Lagoon, which is mainly on private property, Hymenachne is impacting on water flow and fish habitat.  

“We worked with Terrain NRM to acquire Queensland government Regional NRM Investment funding to support landholders to manage the weed and improve the health of the system.”  

Expert herbicide application from a helicopter and a huge on-ground effort from landowners delivered very positive results. Catchment landholders also helped reduce seed source on their properties.  

Meanwhile, Gulnay Traditional Owners have run a cultural and environmental project in the Jingalingnu area, thanks to a Queensland government Indigenous Land and Sea Management Grant.  Located between the Tully and Murray River mouths, Jingalingnu is the last significant area of bush in Gulnay country and contains important cultural sites.   

Gulnay consultant Nina Dawson said the project included camps and workshops with Elders and younger generations to share cultural knowledge and monitor cultural sites and endangered species.   

“Elders noted that fire misuse was changing the original open forest to a dense understory, with many large canopy trees dying,” said Nina.  

“Gulnay people hope to work closely with agencies and neighbouring landholders in managing the National Park and beachfront Council reserve, including managing fire to restore the forest. However management is restricted by the potholed access road.” 

Local artist and campaigner for the wellbeing of the Mahogany Glider, Daryl Dickson commented, “It was a great day at Barrett’s Lagoon and brilliant that so many people attended."  

Tony O’Malley said Terrain was pleased to assist with the project. He said, “It was fantastic to see such a great turnout on the day with the Gulnay people and Canegrowers jointly welcoming all to the sign unveiling by MP Andrew Cripps at the lagoon.” 

 If you would like further information contact Terrain NRM’s Tony O’Malley on 0437 728 1490.