Poor water quality, caused by fine sediment and nutrients entering the Great Barrier Reef lagoon, has been shown to be the greatest threat to the Reef after climate change. The Burdekin River is responsible for delivering the highest volume of fine sediment of any river into the Great Barrier Reef. Areas of sodic or dispersive clays throughout the catchment are susceptible to erosion, particularly when groundcover is overgrazed, and the soils are exposed to heavy monsoonal rains during the wet season.
The catchments of the Bowen, Broken and Bogie rivers (BBB) are estimated to deliver around 50% of the fine sediment load to the Burdekin river mouth from only 9% of the total catchment area. This makes the BBB catchment a focus for Greening Australia’s gully remediation works.
Kirknie Station, a grazing property on the banks of the Bogie and Burdekin rivers, has a number of alluvial gullies, estimated to have started 50 years ago, and continuing to grow.
This project is using a range of remediation techniques and ongoing grazing management to repair and stabilise ten alluvial gullies on Kirknie Station, to prevent 2,078 tonnes of sediment form entering the system annually.
Greening Australia’s delivery partner, Rock-It Science, has developed plans to remediate the gullies by using best practice remediation techniques, including reshaping and battering the active gullies, installing rock chutes and bunds, and establishing vegetation to stabilise the works.
The landholders at Kirknie Station currently employ progressive grazing management practices, which will help ensure the long-term success of the gully remediation works.
This project is part of Greening Australia’s Reef Aid program, delivered in partnership with Rock-It Science and funded by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation’s partnership with the Australian Government’s Reef Trust. For more information, please feel free to send us an online query.
Ben has been restoring landscapes in one form or another throughout much of his career in Southern NSW and Northern Queensland. He is currently working on gully remediation and constructed wetland projects to improve water quality entering the Great Barrier Reef.