Riverbank stablisation work resumes at Mossman

June 2, 2020

Gerard Puglisi’s creek-side cane land was washed away in the 2018 floods. Now he is banking on a combination of rocks and trees to better prepare him for future wet seasons.

Earthworks began this week at Mr Puglisi’s Mossman farm as part of a project to stabilise the banks of waterways in the Saltwater Creek catchment, through revegetation and engineered construction work.

Terrain NRM’s Ruginia Duffy said ‘rock toes’ – or structures that armour the lower section of streambanks - were being built along the water’s edge while the upper section was reshaped to reduce the slope and allow for tree planting.

“With the rate and level of erosion, combining earthworks and revegetation is the way to hold these streambanks together for the long-term,” she said. “The rock structures are designed to protect the bank while the trees establish.”

The project is one of two on the Puglisi property, and it follows similar work on three other Mossman farms over the past year.

Mr Puglisi said 20m of streambank on a dog-leg section of creek was repaired several weeks ago and the current project was on an S-bend that now included an island.

“The areas were gouged out in the flood and they’ve been eroding into the headland,’’ he said.

“There is more gouging every time it floods – if we can stop the erosion, we can protect our land and there is also less chance of topsoil ending up in the waterways and going out to the Reef.”

The work is part of the Mossman Integrated Catchment Repair Project, delivered by Terrain NRM and funded by the Queensland Government’s Natural Resources Investment Program. It also includes workshops for landholders across the Mossman region.

Ms Duffy said trees were planted on another property in the Cassowary Creek catchment last week where streambanks were reshaped in late April. More than 1300 trees will have been planted at two streambank sites on the property once that project is finished.

To find out more about the Mossman Integrated Catchment Repair Project visit our project page.