Community Project to Restore Natural Diversity
Reef Catchments is working to restore the degraded corridor behind the Twin Creek Court development in Cannonvale in partnership with Whitsunday Regional Council and Whitsunday Catchment Landcare, (Fig1).
Disturbance, clearing and weed infestation incurred during development has had a negative impact on remnant vegetation behind the development leaving open patches that are high maintenance and of low environmental value.
Twin Creek Court is almost completely finished being developed and this provides an opportunity to restore the drainage corridor behind the residences.
It is a small creek that runs between streets in Cannonvale. Much of the land surrounding Twin Creek has been cleared for development reducing the natural values of the area.
Dumping of garden waste around the base of trees and exotic garden plants is now affecting the area. Clearing has also made room for invasive weed species to colonise in and around the creek bed, as well as throughout the mown area alongside. The creek is now almost completely filled with grassy weeds.
Whitsunday Catchment Landcare (WCL) will conduct works at Twin Creek Court to improve the areas environmental value. Initial weed control includes lantana, huckleberry (solanum nigrum), guinea grass (megathyrsus maximus), Cobblers peg (Bidens pilosa), sensitive weed (Mimosa pudica), flannel weed (Sida cordifolia) and other visible problematic weeds.
Techniques described in control options for weeds by the Mackay Whitsunday Region Mackay Regional Pest Management Group will be employed as a minimum standard to control weeds under this contract. This will ensure that weed control methods are used as stipulated on the label to achieve the most effective and environmentally safe on ground weed control outcomes. Diesel will not be used in herbicide application.
Revegetation (planting of 400 plants over three sites) will allow for a firebreak strip of approximately five m wide between the border of freehold land (i.e. the front of the fences) and planting activities.
A firebreak will be kept behind residential properties (Red dotted line in Fig 1). The three open areas north of this firebreak are to be revegetated (0.28ha) with bio-diverse native plantings that complement the surrounding remnant vegetation. The revegetation will be mulched and irrigated to provide the best opportunity for successful establishment and survival.
A permanent photopoint will be installed to monitor the success of restoration works.
The Whitsunday Regional Council owns and manages the Twin Creek reserve behind Twin Creek Court. Most of the reserve is located close to Twin Creek which flows into Waite Creek. There is some remnant rainforest vegetation along the creek. The cleared areas away from the creek are colonised by Guinea grass and other weeds.
The Whitsunday Regional Council in conjunction with Whitsunday Landcare and Reef Catchment Pty Ltd plan to revegetate some of the cleared areas with attractive rainforest plants. The purpose of the revegetation is to improve the aesthetics of the creek area, increase biodiversity values and reduce the weedy grass areas. It is hoped that nearby residents support the revegetation project and possibly even assist with the nurturing of the plants over time.
The Twin Creek reserve and the proposed revegetation areas are shown in Figure 1. The proposed project timetable was:
- Weed control of site by Whitsunday Landcare from 18 to the 22 April 2016.
- Site mulched 26 to the 29 April 2016.
- Irrigation provided by the 3 May 2016.
- Approximately 400 rainforest seedlings planted from the 4-13 May 2016. The species selected for the revegetation and landscaping will include flowering local native rainforest species.
- Site would be maintained by Whitsunday Landcare for three months.
- Site would be maintained by council after August 2016, however if local residents were interested in assisting with the site maintenance they were welcome to help out with weed control.
All about Community
The word “community” is derived from the ancient French word communité which is derived from the Latin communitas (cum, “with/together” + munus, “gift”), meaning a broad term for fellowship or organized society. Additionally the term community has two distinct meanings:
- A group of interacting people, living in some proximity (i.e. in space, time, or relationship). Community usually refers to a social unit larger than a household that shares common values and has social cohesion. The term can also refer to the national community or international community, and,
- In biology, a community is a group of interacting living organisms sharing a populated environment.
Reef Catchments operations are community based and focus on the people and the biology and their interactions and desired interactions toward reaching a sustainable community. As per the ancient French definition Reef Catchments considers the regions natural resources a gift that the community has bestowed on it. With the gift comes the responsibility to manage and care for the gift to ensure that future community generations can equally share in what the community today has available to it.
Reef Catchments works with many volunteers to undertake critical rehabilitation actions and works within the region. Reef Catchments also undertakes the management of volunteer actions aligned to landscape rehabilitation through which it is able to engage with citizens keen to participate in community activities and to address human environmental and social needs.
Indigenous Australians have managed their country for tens of thousands of years. An Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) is an area of Indigenous-owned land or sea where traditional owners have entered into an agreement with the Australian Government to promote biodiversity and cultural resource conservation.
The IPA initiative provides funding support for Indigenous organisations to develop cooperative management arrangements with State or Territory conservation agencies over National Parks or other protected areas. This assists Indigenous parties in identifying management issues and negotiating a decision-making framework to enable co-management arrangements.
These arrangements allow for:
- Decision making and governance structures
- Management issues requiring special attention
- A process for appropriately interpreting features of a protected area
People Talk about Country, speak and sing to Country, visit and worry about Country, feel sorry for Country, long for Country. People say that Country knows best, hears, smells, takes notice, takes care, is sorry or happy. It has consciousness and a will towards life. Because of this richness, Country is love and peace, nourishment for Body, mind and spirit. (Interpretation Australia 2003).
Traditional Owner Reference Group
The Traditional Owner Reference Group is made up of representatives from each tribe (Yuibera, Koinjmal, Ngaro and Gia) within the boundaries of the Reef Catchments Mackay Whitsunday region. This group provides guidance on what projects they feel are important for funding. Their involvement is producing real outcomes for the benefit their lands and the wider community.