Community info session for proposed landscape wetland

August 6, 2018

A community information session about a major reef water quality project beginning on Cassowary Coast farms is being held in Tully next week.

Farmers can learn about the latest developments in the Wet Tropics Major Integrated Project, including the proposed construction of a wetland along Sandy Creek Road. The information session will be held in the Tully Mill Meeting Hall, Writ Lane, from 4.30pm-6pm on Monday 13 August. The session will be co-hosted by Tully Sugar Ltd.

The Major Integrated Project includes trialling and monitoring on-farm bioreactors, wetlands and sediment basins as ways to reduce nutrient and sediment loads entering the Great Barrier Reef, and the introduction of a ‘Reef Credits’ system that will be similar to carbon credits.

Contractors have undertaken topographical surveys and soil samples at sites in both the Tully and Johnstone catchments to help guide the design and construction stages of systems repair technologies on farm sites.

MIP Catchment Repair Officer Suzette Argent said 40 on-farm sites were assessed over the past three months and detailed investigations have been underway on ‘first-stage’ sites.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to work with banana and cane farmers to trial these technologies in the Wet Tropics.’’

James Cook University’s Dr Alex Cheesman said soil samples had been sent off for laboratory analysis.

“The topographic surveys identify key landform heights, and help determine how the water moves in the landscape,’’ he said.

“With them we can ensure whatever is designed doesn’t impact drainage, and does a good job at treating water.”

“We also take core soil samples to learn about the underlying soil. The designs for the catchment repair technologies need to work with the underlying soil materials – understanding what we’ve got helps manage earth movement and on-ground works appropriately.”

The Queensland Government, through the Queensland Reef Water Quality Program, is investing up to $15 million in the MIP – a program designed by hundreds of people from the community.

An industry-based project panel oversees the project, and recently visited some of the first stage sites.

“There has been a lot of work to get to this point, and it’s valuable for stakeholders and panel members to see sites in the flesh, and hear more about the challenges (and successes!) of getting ideas off the table and on the ground,” said Ms Argent.

To RSVP to the community information session phone Fiona George on 0488 702 203 or email fiona.george@terrain.org.au