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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:
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:
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.