The Burnett Mary Regional Group (BMRG) Kolan River stabilisation site work, which commenced last year, is complete. The work effectively stabilised 830 meters of the Kolan riverbank, withstanding the impact of the recent extreme weather despite being so recently completed.

The river is a high contributor of sediment to the Great Barrier Reef and the work, funded by the Reef Trust through Burnett Mary Regional Group’s Discovery Coast project, will prevent 5 000 tonnes of sediment reaching the reef each year.

BMRG CEO, Sheila Charlesworth, said the site work was a success and benefits both the reef and local landowners.

“The stabilisation of the riverbank has already proven effective in reducing sediment to the Great Barrier Reef during recent heavy rainfall. It will also prevent erosion and further land degradation for the landholder.

“We would like to see this effective approach expanded to other sites of concern, should funding be available to support it,” Ms Charlesworth said.

The site work involved cutting the cliff face back to a shallower gradient which reduces how much sediment is removed by overland water flow. Pile fields of large tree trunks drilled into the ground then stabilised the riverbank, and Gidarjil Development Corporation revegetated the site through traditional seeding and plantings native to the area.

The long-term effectiveness of the work will be assessed through water quality monitoring by Central Queensland University’s Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre.

The Kolan River site work forms part of a Burnett Mary Regional Group led project through the Discovery Coast Consortium, which includes key members from Central Queensland University’s Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre (CMERC), LESS industries, Gidarjil Development Corporation and Alluvium Consulting.