The banks of the Mary River at Kenilworth were a hive of activity last week when the Burnett Mary Regional Group (BMRG) hosted a community day to showcase the major streambank rehabilitation projects being undertaken in the area.

The Mary River has been identified as one of the five highest contributors of fine sediment to the Great Barrier Reef and the highest contributor to the Great Sandy Strait. To address this issue, BMRG has received funding from the Australian Government to undertake major streambank rehabilitation works at priority sites on the Mary River.

The afternoon provided a perfect opportunity for project partners and the community to see first-hand the projects which aim to prevent ongoing riverbank slumping and erosion.

The most recently completed project is on Stephen and Ruth Carter’s property at Kenilworth. It is estimated that approximately 600,000 tonnes of sediment have been lost at this site alone due to ongoing bank slumping. Work at this site was undertaken by a consortium of partners including BMRG, the Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee, Noosa and District Landcare, SEQWater, Sunshine Coast Regional Council and Alluvium Consulting.  The project involves the installation of pile fields to slow the river’s flow and battering and revegetation of the riverbank to protect and stabilise riparian farmland.

Speaking on the day, Stephen Carter expressed his gratitude for the work that was undertaken.  “We’ve lost that whole corner of our land for the tree planting,” Stephen said, “but a bit of common sense will tell you that after two or three more floods, the whole lot was going to go”. He added, “I just wish to say thank you to everybody that’s been involved. It’s been absolutely marvellous, and we are prepared to do our part as far as looking after things a bit”.

Also in attendance were Keith Armstrong and David Weir from the Australian Government’s Department of the Environment and Energy in Canberra. Keith expressed appreciation to all the project partners and cited the project as one of the most significant collaborative achievements to be completed under the government’s Regional Land Partnership program.

The Mary River and all the communities that depend on it, play a critical role in Queensland’s future. BMRG and its partners are committed to continuing its work with these communities to protect and enhance the region’s agricultural and natural environments.