Restoring Australia growing strong

Greening Australia and Officeworks’ partnership, Restoring Australia has reached a new milestone, with the commencement of new planting projects at Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef Coast and Western Australia’s Wheatbelt.

The partnership, which started in 2017, aims to conserve and restore priority landscapes across the country. Planting has already been going strong at sites across New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. Now in this third year of the partnership, activity is ramping up with new planting sites added in Western Australia and Queensland.

On Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef Coast, planting commenced with 5,000 native trees and shrubs planted. The work in this region is crucial, as 50% of the wetlands in the reef catchment have been lost since European settlement, while many of those remaining are degraded. The focus of the Restoring Australia planting will be in regions such as such as Lake Mary and Lake Serpentine, where  wetland sites that have experienced extensive damage over the past decades. The restoring will also create habitats for a multitude of creatures, including Barramundi, the White-Throated Snapping Turtle and the Plumed Whistling Duck.

Wetlands act as vital filters for the water flowing out to the Great Barrier Reef. Restoring coastal wetlands will reduce the sediment ending up at the Reef, improving water quality and increasing the reef’s resilience to climate change. Through our Reef Aid program, Greening Australia is working together with landholders and partners such as Officeworks to restore 1,000 hectares of priority wetland by 2030.

“With Greening Australia, we're revegetating our land around the lagoon to help prevent, reduce and reverse erosion damage... as farmers we want to work in harmony with the environment, trying to be as sustainable as possible”
Catherine and Neil Simmonds, local landholders in Queensland

On the other side of the country, Greening Australia and Officeworks have just finished planting more than 45,000 native seeds and seedlings across Western Australia’s Wheatbelt region. The aim of planting across the Wheatbelt sites has been to revegetate the area following a historical legacy of extensive clearing that has caused severe land degradation over time. In addition to combatting erosion and salinity, restoring these sites will improve habitat for several endangered species, including three types of black cockatoo: Carnaby’s, Baudin’s and the Forest Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo.

One Restoring Australia site in WA is Avondale Park, managed by local landholder Oral McGuire and his family organisation Yaraguia Enterprises Inc – a group of traditional Ballardong Noongar landholders. Restoring Australia is joining Oral on his journey with this land, which began in 2008 when he started planting seeds with the aim of restoring the land, establishing native plants and creating sustainable habitat for endangered species. As well as incorporating Indigenous land management practices, Oral intends to create a cultural sanctuary “where Noongar people are engaged and connected to the land, the same way I have had my own journey spiritually reconnecting to country and coming home.”

“I’m eager to get planting underway this planting season as part of Restoring Australia, to take steps of reaching our goal of one million trees planted, while creating natural ecosystems”
Oral McGuire, local landholder in Western Australia

Through our Great Southern Landscapes program, we’re working with partners and landholders like Officeworks and Oral to restore 300,000 ha of habitat by 2030, which will sequester 1.2 million tonnes of carbon and conserve 17 threatened species.

The Restoring Australia initiative sees two trees planted for every one used, based on the weight of paper based products that customers buy at Officeworks.