North Queensland Monsoon Trough 2019 - Environmental Recovery Program
Following the North Queensland Monsoon Trough 2019, the Department of Environment and Science approved $46 million in projects to support environmental recovery after the event.
The Environmental Recovery Program provided assistance to natural resource management (NRM) groups, local councils and river improvement trusts to rehabilitate and restore flood-affected riverine and coastal environments.
The funding also allowed those groups to control pests and weeds spread as a result of the monsoon trough.
Under the program, 17 program partners are delivering 145 projects, including:
- bank stabilisation works in river reaches to limit the amount of sediment reaching the Great Barrier Reef and the Gulf
- beach nourishment and revegetation works to improve dune stability and increased resilience in coastal zones
- targeted pest and weed projects to help limit the spread of invasive species.
Notable projects include Terrain NRM’s $769,000 bank rehabilitation project along the Daintree River to stabilise more than 500 metres of eroded banks and re-establish vegetation connectivity along the riparian zone.
This project is estimated to save more than 22,000 tonnes of sediment from entering the Great Barrier Reef.
NQ Dry Tropics conducted a $650,000 project to halt gully erosion threatening the drainage of Eumara Lake by restoring a section of the Great Basalt Wall and stabilising the gully to enhance the resilience of the site to future extreme weather events.
Flinders Shire Council worked with Richmond Shire Council to manage a $100,000 Emergency Response Program for Parthenium Weed. This program was identified after floodwaters distributed the weed’s seed onto fertile open river plains.
The program was successful in containing this invasive pest in the short term, and ongoing monitoring will continue throughout the Southern Gulf Natural Resource Management.
COVID restrictions in 2020 placed significant pressures on program partners to negotiate safe practices and coordinate the supply of materials for on-ground works during the limited dry season window.
However, in a significant achievement, approximately 50 per cent of projects were completed prior to the 2020-21 wet season.