Four year project to improve native vegetation

June 26, 2019

A new $641,000 project will help to protect native vegetation in the Wet Tropics.

Terrain NRM is working with local councils and the Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils on a four-year project to improve 1000 hectares of native vegetation through tree-planting, weed control, assisted regeneration and fire management.

The initiative, funded by the Queensland Government’s Natural Resources Investment Program, will begin at sites in the Daintree, on the Cassowary Coast and the Atherton Tablelands.

Terrain NRM’s project leader Tony O’Malley said the invasive weed hiptage was smothering rainforest in the Mossman River area, while on the Tablelands a rare wet sclerophyll ecotone was under threat from lantana and changed fire regimes.

He said the Cassowary Coast project site was at Nyleta Creek near Silkwood where guinea grass, bramble and fire had badly damaged world-heritage rainforest on council land and in the adjoining national park.

“We want to improve the resilience of big patches of native vegetation including remnant vegetation and regional ecosystems listed as endangered or ‘of concern’,” Mr O’Malley said.

“This funding is bringing together councils in the region to collectively decide on the most important areas of native vegetation they can measurably improve over the next few years through on-ground works.”

Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils’ Travis Sydes said the four-year project was an opportunity to tap into collective knowledge and deliver enduring benefits.

Douglas Shire Council’s Peter Logan said hiptage was one of the greatest threats to rainforest biodiversity in the Mossman Gorge. “Our crews will be working to target this invasive weed and restore native vegetation to protect the ecosystem.’’ he said.

Tableland Regional Council’s Scott Morrison welcomed the project, which will be in the Ravenshoe area at South Cedar Creek. He said the aim was to “revegetate riparian habitat to provide improved native vegetation condition in a Great Barrier Reef catchment”.