Quality Agricultural Services and Chinchilla Landcare
Big hearted tourists help clean up Darling Downs
Overseas youngsters have played a significant role in helping Condamine Alliance complete the first stage in its flood recovery program. The enthusiastic volunteers travelled from all parts of the world to lend a hand in the flood clean-up throughout the Condamine catchment.
The volunteers have been working as part of Conservation Volunteers Australia to remove flood debris and help repair damaged riverbanks. Since the clean-up began five months ago, the volunteers have removed 15.3 tonnes of rubbish from the Condamine River and Oakey Creek. They also planted 4900 Lomandra native grass plants across Dalby, Killarney, Warwick and Allora. 3000 of the Lomandra were planted at St Ruth’s Reserve near Dalby.
The crews rotated each week with a new group of volunteers travelling to the region for their stint in the clean-up operation.Condamine Alliance project officer Kevin Graham spent many hours working alongside the volunteers and was impressed by their enthusiasm and generosity. “For most of these young people this was their first trip to Australia,” Mr Graham said. “They were really excited to be doing something worthwhile and helping local communities clean-up after the recent floods,” he said. “They were very keen to roll up their sleeves and get on with the job.” The volunteers came from Belgium, Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Japan, South Korea and North America.
Stage 2 of the program will commence in Spring supported by a new round of overseas youngsters willing to volunteer their time to help plant more native plants. The rubbish removal and riverbank restoration activities are part of a wider relief effort by Condamine Alliance to repair and strengthen areas of the Condamine catchment affected by recent flooding. Gully stabilisation, weed control, and research and modeling are other important focus areas in the program.
International erosion expert Dr Andrew Simon from Cardno Entrix in Mississippi spent the past week in the region conducting field research at the invitation of Condamine Alliance. His research will help Condamine Alliance better understand how to protect riverbanks, stabilise gullies and minimise soil erosion in the event of future flooding. Before returning to the United States, Dr Simon gave a special lecture at the University of Southern Queensland for local water managers and researchers to learn more about stream stability management.
The Condamine Alliance flood recovery program is funded through the National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) via the Queensland Reconstruction Authority. Photos and more information available here.