Reef Aid

Rehabilitating land at Fig Tree Lagoon

The site near Fishery Falls, just south of Cairns, is low lying land retired from sugarcane production.

The project at Fig Tree Lagoon is part of Greening Australia’s Priority Coastal Habitat and Wetlands Project, funded through the Australian Government’s Reef Trust Program, The Ian Potter Foundation and Accor Hotels and is a partnership with landholder Lenny Parisi and the Mulgrave Landcare and Catchment Group.

Greening Australia Board President Gordon Davis and landholder Lenny Parisi

Greening Australia has taken the opportunity to engage with the Mulgrave Landcare and Catchment Group to value add and build on re-vegetation works that are being supported by Greening Australia, through a grant from the Accor Hotel Group, and undertake additional restoration of a wetland site adjacent to Fig Tree Lagoon.

Through the Reef Trust V project ‘Repair and Restoration of Priority Coastal habitat and Wetlands’, Greening Australia are undertaking a feasibility study to identify a range of options for the installation of a wetland treatment system at the  site. In the event that the feasibility study provides sufficient evidence for the project to be further developed, in partnership with the Mulgrave Landcare and Catchment Group and landholder Lenny Parisi, Greening Australia will progress to a detailed design, obtain necessary approvals and commence construction in subsequent stages of this project

The Challenge

Greening Australia is partnering with Mulgrave Landcare and Catchment Group (MLCG) and landholder Lenny Parisi to restore 8 hectares of low lying land adjacent to Fig Tree Lagoon, near Fishery Falls south of Cairns. The site has been retired from sugarcane production due to frequent and persistent waterlogging.

The MLCG and Mr Parisi are keen to develop the site for habitat purposes, including a wetland feature, and have undertaken some tree planting.

Greening Australia believes that the site has the potential to provide more than just habitat value and would like to explore options to compliment habitat restoration works to improve water quality through the installation of a water quality treatment train, including a subsurface ‘bioreactor(s)’.

The Solution

The objective is to construct a water quality treatment train and artificial wetland on 8ha to improve water quality coming from cane production before it enters the Great Barrier Reef lagoon as well as enhance local biodiversity.

Detailed design work will commence after consultation. Construction will be complete in 2018.

To get started, 4512 trees were planted on the site in 2017 by 150 volunteers, supported by Accor Hotels. A further 1,500 trees will be planted with the help of volunteers at the end of May 2018.



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