Funding to stem the flow of reef water pollution

Published Saturday, 13 May, 2023 at 08:30 AM

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs
The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon

The Palaszczuk Government will spend $6 million to stem the flow of harmful sediment into the Great Barrier Reef as part of an initiative.

Funding has been provided to three major projects in the Lower Burdekin, Herbert River and Fitzroy River catchments, repairing and remediating streambanks along rivers and waterways.

Sediment flow is caused by streambank erosion which in turn is caused by the loss of vegetation along streambanks.

Streambank remediation will be achieved through a range of activities including revegetation, fencing, bank reprofiling and pile fields. 

The three successful contractors are: 

  • Terrain NRM who will receive $2.53 million to remediate streambank erosion in the Herbert River and Stone River, in the Herbert catchment.
  • The Neilly Group, specialists in surface water engineering, will receive $1.68 million to remediate streambank erosion in the Little Bowen River in the Burdekin catchment.
  • Fitzroy Basin Association, which will receive $1.79 million to remediate streambank erosion in Six Mile Creek, near Raglan in the Fitzroy catchment.

The streambank remediation projects are expected to be completed by June 2026.

The funding is part of $270.1 million locked in during the 2021-22 Budget to target water pollution flowing into the reef, and more than $1 billion in direct action on the reef by the Palaszczuk Government since 2015

Quotes attributable to Environment and Great Barrier Reef Minister Meaghan Scanlon:

“The Palaszczuk Government will always stand up for the reef, and has never shied away from its obligations to protect it.

“Sediment run-off is one of the biggest pressures on the Great Barrier Reef, smothering corals, seagrasses and other plants, affecting their growth and survival as well as the survival of turtles, dugongs, fish and other animals that depend on them for food and shelter.

“This latest investment will make a substantial contribution to reducing sediment run-off and will continue to create more jobs in regional communities.

“The recent international report into the reef calls for the Federal and State Governments to undertake ‘ambitious, rapid and sustained’ action to protect the reef. That’s what we are doing.

“We have taken ambitious action on climate with a $62 billion Energy and Jobs Plan, we’re scaling up land restoration, supporting farmers to improve runoff, banning more single-use plastics and driving sustainability with a $1.1 billion Recycling and Jobs Fund.

“We will continue to build on these actions, while supporting the unparalleled science and management frameworks underpinning our conservation efforts, as recognised by the report.”

Quotes attributable to Terrain NRM Chief Executive Officer Stewart Christie:

“Terrain NRM is delighted to receive this funding from the Queensland Government.

“Over the past five years, our sediment reduction projects have reduced several thousand tonnes of sediment from reaching the Great Barrier Reef each year through a range of engineering solutions and improved land management practices.

“The Herbert catchment is a priority catchment for sediment reduction in Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef zone. We have been remediating a number of gully and streambank erosion sites in the catchment with engineering work such as rock walls, pile fields and rock chutes.

“Thanks to this funding we will be able to extend our work in the Herbert and Stone Rivers by working with landholders and undertaking further engineered works on direct river frontage, coupled with revegetation activities.” 


Media contact: Francis Dela Cruz – 0420 592 078