Eight Wanjuru Traditional Owners are reconnecting with country through the Queensland Government’s Reef Assist program. The program aims to provide an economic stimulus to the Cairns Region, while providing environmental restoration and water quality improvement to the Great Barrier Reef. The 12-month project provides a significant economic boost, with the flow-on effects from the jobs contributing $5.2 M to the Cairns and Australian economies. Training will also give Traditional Owners the skill set needed by a range of industry for employment post-project.
Some of the important environmental work to be carried out over the next 12 months includes control of invasive weeds to protect two Nationally Important Wetlands – Eubenangee Swamp National Park and Russell River National Park. The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and Cairns Regional Council contributed to development of the weed control program.
Babinda Creek and McPaul Creek will also get some attention. Revegetation will help stabilise the creek banks, resulting in reduced erosion, improved water quality flowing to the Reef and establishment of native wildlife corridors to link the Bellenden Ker Range and the coast.
A project highlight is restoration of a wetland on Babinda Creek, which will include installation of a high-tech surveillance camera by TropWATER and JCU with live stream images to monitor ecosystem restoration over time. A link to the camera will be available on Jaragun’s website.
Qld Government (Department of Environment and Science)
The 'Environmental Restoration in the Russell River Catchment' project is funded through the Queensland Government’s Reef Assist Program and delivered by Jaragun.