Condamine flood recovery program in full swing
The Condamine Alliance flood recovery program is in full swing.
Activities are being coordinated across four key focus areas: gully stabilisation, riverbank restoration, rubbish removal and weed control.
The program is funded under the Queensland Reconstruction Authority Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Program.
Condamine Alliance has teamed up with local councils, landholders and community groups to help rebuild and repair the Condamine catchment after the 2010-11 floods.
Heavy rain and flood waters swept tonnes of rubbish and debris into the catchment’s waterways. The clean-up has involved volunteers from Queensland Conservation Volunteers who have been fishing shopping trolleys, car tyres, prams, street signs, bicycles and plastic from the local creeks and rivers.
The strong flood waters also ripped large gullies in areas especially near waterways, roads and irrigation equipment.
To stop these gullies from getting worse, Condamine Alliance together with the Condamine Emeritus Science Group will identify five priority sites to receive urgent repair works.
Riverbanks were some of the hardest hit areas during the floods. Erosion is now a significant issue for many sections of the catchment’s waterways. In some parts, watercourses have even cut new paths.
Luckily, areas with extensive groundcover and in-stream vegetation were protected, proving that good riparian land management practice is essential to looking after waterways.
The riverbank restoration activities will involve planting native groundcover and trees to protect vulnerable stream and river bank areas.
Although the flood waters have subsided, a less visible but more invasive threat still remains – the spread of noxious weeds.
Condamine Alliance is working with Biosecurity Queensland to help put a stop to this noxious spread by treating 60 hectares in the flood zone.
Weed control efforts are particularly focused on Chilean needle grass which is nationally recognised because of its aggressive and invasive habit.
This weed is bad news for the catchment’s agricultural industry as it takes over pasture and irritates pets and livestock with its sharp and penetrating barb.
As well as the extensive on-the-ground activities, research and modeling will be undertaken to inform the rehabilitation activities and learn more about how to manage flood damage in the future.
One of the world’s leading erosion experts, Dr Andrew Simon from Cardno ENTRIX in Oxford Mississippi, will arrive in the catchment next week to conduct field testing.
Their research will involve testing the root strength of the native grass Lomandra to determine how it reduces erosion when planted en masse and conducting modeling of selected flood-damaged creeks and gullies.
For more information about the Condamine Alliance flood recovery program, visit Repairing the Condamine