$4.4M investment to protect our natural assets

July 18, 2018

A $4.4 million investment in the Wet Tropics will kick-start new projects to protect waterways, native vegetation and soils.

Terrain NRM has secured funding from the Queensland Government for three initiatives – one to improve the health of waterways in the Mossman area, another to reduce sediment losses in the Upper Johnstone River and a third to protect and improve native vegetation by controlling weeds.

The natural resource management organisation will be working with landowners, community groups, traditional owners, agriculture organisations, researchers and state and local government over the next four years on the projects.

Terrain NRM CEO Carole Sweatman said flood damage in the Mossman area earlier this year had led to the Mossman Integrated Catchment Repair Project which focuses on 17ha of stream banks in the Cassowary and Saltwater Creek catchments where trees will be planted and streambank stabilisation works undertaken as part of the initiative.

“This project will be delivered in partnership with 16 landholders, the Canegrowers organisation, Mossman Agricultural Services and the Douglas Shire Council, and may well become a pilot project for building waterway resilience in other parts of the region,’’ Ms Sweatman said.

The Upper Johnstone River initiative will focus on erosion hotspots in the Malanda, Ithaca Creek and Nerada areas, with activities ranging from fencing and revegetating waterways to stabilising gullies and streambanks and improving groundcover. This complements the existing Wet Tropics Major Integrated Project being delivered in the Lower Johnstone, and in the Tully catchment.

The native vegetation project will target emerging weed infestations threatening up to 1000ha of priority vegetation in the region. The project will be undertaken in close collaboration with local councils.

Queensland Government Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the state’s regional bodies and community groups would work together on 21 new projects that would help improve the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

“These projects also build resilience to extreme weather, build the state’s natural resource volunteer and working base, improve landholder and industry skills, knowledge and engagement, and foster greater collaboration with traditional owners,’’ Dr Lynham said.

“I am looking forward to seeing the outcomes over the next few years.”

Ms Sweatman said the Wet Tropics community helped to shape all three projects and the funding allocations were an excellent outcome for the region, which extends from Bloomfield in the north to Ingham in the south and Mt Garnet in the west.

“The success of these land management projects is dependent on collaboration and we are looking forward to partnering with others to help restore and improve some of the Far North’s unique assets for future generations,’’ she said.

“These projects build on previous and ongoing work to protect waterways, native vegetation and soils in the Wet Tropics region.”