Disaster recovery funding rebuilding Wet Tropics streambanks

February 3, 2020

Streambank on the Daintree’s Stewart Creek has been repaired as part of a $2.1 million disaster recovery project at nine sites across the Wet Tropics.

Terrain NRM is managing the project, with eligible works jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

Stage 1 of the project has identified sites for urgent repair in three different Wet Tropics council areas - Douglas Shire Council, Cassowary Coast Regional Council and Hinchinbrook Shire Council.

Douglas Shire Council and Terrain NRM have worked closely on the Stewart Creek remediation project, which is located on council land only a few kilometres from the Daintree village hub.

The site on Stewart Creek Road suffered streambank erosion, resulting in significant soil loss and vegetation removal. The erosion led to sediment run off into the Stewart sub-catchment of the Daintree River and ultimately the Great Barrier Reef.

Almost 450 tonnes of rock was used along 23 metres of streambank as structural reinforcement at the site of the erosion. Revegetation efforts will be completed on the site when the wet season commences.

Terrain NRM Project Manager Jen Mackenzie said the project is the first of five projects in the Douglas Shire associated with Stage 1 funding. The shire was badly affected by battering monsoonal rains during the 2018-2019 wet season.

“An entire section of creek bank had fallen into the creek,'' she said. "This project was time-critical to ensure the erosion didn’t escalate. We’re not only repairing the damage, we are ensuring the streambank is more resilient for similar flooding events in the future.

“We’ll be undertaking four other on-ground streambank remediation projects similar to this one within the Douglas Shire over the next two years.”

Stage 1 funding will also be provided to River Improvement Trusts to undertake one project in the Hinchinbrook Shire and one in Cassowary Coast region.

The project funding is to repair streambanks damaged as a result of the monsoon trough and to improve resilience, resist impact and recover from future extreme events.

Before: Over 23 metres of creek bank erosion at Stewart Creek.
After: 450 tonnes of rock used to repair the site.