Farmers and Gulnay restore Barretts Lagoon area

April 5, 2016

Farmers and Gulnay restore Barretts Lagoon area

Cane farmers discuss weed management with partners.

The community is invited to celebrate two successful projects in the Barretts Lagoon area with a BBQ on Saturday 16th April. One project involves farmers restoring the lagoon and the other involves traditional owners managing coastal country.

Canegrowers manager Peter Lucy said hymenachne in wetlands has been problematic for Tully farmers for several years. “At Barretts Lagoon, which is mainly on private property, hymenachne is impacting on water flow and fish habitat so we worked with Terrain to get Queensland government Regional NRM Investment funding”.

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.

Canegrowers manager Peter Lucy said “The results demonstrate that a coordinated approach can work, and assistance to landholders with wetlands and waterways can produce great outcomes. However there’ll be an ongoing cost to maintain the achievements”.

Meanwhile, Gulnay Traditional Owners of the Tully area 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. Jingalingnu means 'running'.

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 understorey, 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”.

Gulnay people and Canegrowers welcome all to a sign unveiling by MP Andrew Cripps at Barretts Lagoon at 11.30am and a free BBQ at 12.30pm at Bedfords Landing, both on Saturday 16 April.