Image: Planting site under a flooded Macquarie River near Ross. Photo: Jimmy Collinson
Recent heavy rains and flooding in Tasmania have brought welcome relief to midland farmers and Greening Australia’s ambitious Midlands Restoration Program. These rains will hopefully bring an end to an exceptional period of drought with annual rainfall for the past couple of years being around two thirds of long term averages.
Greening Australia’s Midlands Restoration Program is constructing two wildlife corridors from the Central Plateau to the Eastern Tiers, with the first 1,000ha of revegetation already complete. The project includes approximately 14km of riverside planting on the Macquarie and Isis Rivers and Tacky Creek – waterways that experienced high levels of flooding in early June.
Site preparation for riparian revegetation included measures to protect from flood damage, including single point cultivation to minimise soil erosion, installation of ‘drop fences’ that fall to the ground under flood conditions and plants that can survive wet feet for limited periods. All these precautions worked very well and early site inspections revealed no plant casualties or erosion damage.
Once the seedlings become established they will have moderating effects on future flood events, they will filter nutrients, reduce erosion and downstream sediment deposition – major issues in the Macquarie/ Tamar Catchment.