Team targets gullies

July 2, 2018

Sites in upper Herbert River region are being assessed for a $3 million program to improve water quality in the catchment area.

A team of gully remediation, earthworks and construction specialists visited a number of properties recently to consider the best ways to tackle erosion issues and reduce sediment run-off.

The Herbert River Gully and Grazing Program, funded through the Australian Government’s Reef Trust Phase IV program and delivered by Terrain NRM, includes major earthworks to reshape gullies and fencing to keep stock from streambanks. It also includes changes to grazing practices, creation of off-stream water points for stock, revegetation and weed management projects.

RegenAG's Catchment Restoration Specialist Craig Sponholtz was among the group visiting properties including Gunnawarra Station and Glen Ruth Station. Terrain NRM’s Jen Mackenzie said Craig had worked internationally on assessment, planning, design and construction of river and wetland restoration projects, and specialised in natural techniques to improve riparian ecosystems.

“Craig and Regen Ag have been involved in Wet Tropics restoration projects before,’’ she said. “As a group, we were able to consider engineering techniques and construction aspects for each location and work out the best remediation activities. Each site will have its own specific work scope.”

Construction work began on two properties near Ravenshoe last month and grazier workshops have been held in the Upper and Lower Herbert catchments, focused on natural grazing practices.

The Herbert catchment, which extends 340km from the Herberton and Ravenshoe areas to the coastal region of Ingham, is one of the three biggest contributors of sediment loads to the Reef. With sediment one of the major materials affecting the health of the Great Barrier Reef, the $3 million program aims to reduce run-off while also bringing benefits to properties.

The project will run for the next three to five years in partnership with landholders.