Streambank Stewardship Program

A program of works supported by the Queensland Government's Reef Assist program.

As part of the Queensland Government’s Reef Assist program, the Mackay Whitsunday Streambank Stewardship Program will deliver important remediation works along vulnerable riparian and coastal environments of ecological and social importance. The project’s primary focus is to improve water quality within the Mackay Whitsunday region by reducing fine sediment loss to the Great Barrier Reef lagoon. A range of activities and works will be delivered in partnership with local Landcare groups and First Nations people.

The program of works will include:

Minister for Environment Meaghan Scanlon MP with Reef Catchment's CEO Katrina Dent

  • Streambank stabilisation and gully erosion remediation at three locations within the O’Connell basin to reduce fine sediment loss.
  • Support for Pioneer Catchment & Landcare Group, Whitsunday Catchment Landcare and Sarina Landcare Catchment Management Association to directly employ and train project officers in various conservation and land management activities, building local community capacity.
  • Development of a Healthy Country Plan for Koinjmal Country which will empower the Koinjmal people to express a vision for the future, identify their Country’s critical assets and threats and how they wish to address them.
  • Continued support for the Mackay Whitsunday and Isaac Traditional Owner Reference Group (TORG) to direct and participate in on Country activities to restore and protect Cultural Heritage.


The Mackay Whitsunday Streambank Stewardship Program will build on the success of works delivered under the initial stage of the Reef Assist program. Between 2020 and 2022, Reef Catchments delivered two projects under Reef Assist 1.0:

  • Leading Economic Stimulus Through Land Management Action: in partnership with local Landcare groups and contracting businesses, Reef Catchment’s implemented an employment stimulus program to assist the community impacted by COVID-19. Project partners were supported to employ and train staff in a variety of conservation and land management activities. A Traditional Owner employment program was also initiated to pave the way for future First Nations employment opportunities through the employment of a full-time Indigenous project officer.
  • Whitsunday Tourism and Environment Taskforce: support and training provided to Whitsunday marine tourism operators to undertake island and coastal environment protection and rehabilitation works. This project included marine debris removal, foreshore weed removal, coral reef surveys, coral larvae reseeding and coral out-planting.


Since project inception, Reef Catchments has remediated 3 streambank and gully sites, planting 4,000 native species. The remediation of these sites has improved the environmental health of riparian areas while also preventing further erosion. The Reef Assist 2.0 project has helped to improve quality of water flowing to the Great Barrier Reef lagoon, saving an estimated combined total of 2,586 t/y of fine sediment.

The gully remediation site (Tom’s Gully) has had 2,500 tonnes of rock placed to create a rock chute designed to slow water and amour the site. Pest fencing has been installed to protect the site and revegetation works from pest animals.


At one of the streambank remediation sites, a pile field has been installed along with revegetation works to help stabilise the bank. The pile fields will increase the hydraulic roughness, reduce sediment transport capacity, promote deposition, and aid vegetation establishment.


The Mackay Whitsunday Streambank Stewardship Program is funded through the Queensland Government’s $33.5 million Reef Assist program under the Queensland Reef Water Quality Program and delivered by Reef Catchments Limited.

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Project contacts

Carla Lambropoulos

Carla Lambropoulos

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Kira Andrews

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Brendan Smith is the Senior Project Officer for Reef Catchments

Brendan Smith

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Laura Ferris

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