BMRG Flood Recovery Program Rolling On

An $8 million On Farm Productivity and Riparian Flood Recovery Program being rolled out over the next two years via BMRG is well under way.

Jointly funded by the Queensland and Australian government, this program is helping primary producers to restore productivity and address major damage to waterways and floodplains following flooding in late January 2013 caused by Ex-Tropical cyclone Oswald.

Following the floods, BMRG commissioned extensive aerial imagery of the Burnett and Mary Rivers and adjacent coastline to determine the extent of damage caused as a result of the flooding. The imagery gathered has aided in locating large marine debris items such as pontoons and boats, seventeen of which have now been removed with the assistance of local councils and contractors. The imagery has also assisted in determining priority areas in the North Burnett and Bundaberg Regional council areas where on ground works under the Floodplain management, Land productivity and Riparian restoration components of the program will be carried out.

BMRG has engaged the services of three technical expert contractors in the fields of soil conservation and riparian management to make up a Flood Recovery team. The flood team has conducted 133 property visits in the Bundaberg, North Burnett, South Burnett, Fraser Coast and Gympie regional council areas since April and have also consulted more widely with the regions’ landholders and primary producers through a series of workshops and field days.

The team is assisting farmers in the short term to address on-farm impacts caused by the flooding, including providing agronomic advice to address soil erosion issues and restore farm productivity. This and other available assistance will include greater and broader actions to improve longer term resilience to future heavy rain or flood events.

BMRG’s Flood Recovery Coordinator Cathy Mylrea said that now that the preparatory work has been completed, on ground assistance is being given to primary producers to improve land productivity.

BMRG Flood Recovery Coordinator, Ms Cathy Mylrea said “We have just announced targeted incentive payments for primary producers of up to $10,000 to assist with flood recovery works in three priority areas: Three Moon Creek Floodplain, the Lower Burnett River Floodplain and the Lower Kolan River Floodplain.

Primary producers who have been flood impacted within these three areas will be able to apply for funds to conduct works such as removal of sand deposited upon cultivated areas, repair to farm infrastructure such as fencing and irrigation as well as ways to improve soils that have been stripped of their nutrients and structure.

“We have the scope to assist up to 40 landholders within these three priority areas with works that are designed specifically to improve the viability and productivity of their businesses.” Ms Mylrea added.

“We are also working with partners, such as the Burnett Catchment Care Association with whom we have a strong track record in working together in the past and who have extensive landholder contacts locally in the North Burnett area.”

The Flood Recovery team has also supported other multiparty technical working groups that have engaged key regional experts in government and industry to prioritise further work in these and other locations where land productivity, floodplain management, riparian restoration and  invasive weeds control efforts can be enhanced to deliver landscape scale productivity and resilience outcomes.

For more information visit www.bmrg.org.au or call (07) 4181 2999.