Jaragun greeted Elisa Nichols to the Russell River catchment with a welcome to country in Yidi – the language of local Wanjuru Traditional Owners. Elisa is Executive Director of the Office of the Great Barrier Reef at the Department of Environment and Science (DES) and Manager of the Qld Government’s Reef Assist Program (RAP).
Elisa visited several RAP and water quality improvement project sites across the catchment to see first-hand employment and training outcomes for Wanjuru Traditional Owners, environmental restoration activities on-the-ground, how new technologies are being utilised to deliver more effective environmental results, the application of water quality improvement trials, and a range of successful partnerships with other areas of the Qld Government, cane growers, landowners and a charity.
The Wanjuru RAP team provided Elisa with demonstrations of land and boat-based chemical control of Glush Weed (Hygrophila costata), control of Harungana (Harungana madagascariensis) using a mechanised stem injector tool, revegetation to restore habitat for native species along Babinda Creek with plants propagated in Jaragun’s native plant nursery, and a drone being used to identify then treat pest weed trees growing amongst native vegetation.
David Morrison of the Department of Resources gave an informative presentation on the application of state-of-the-art DualEM (Electromagnetic Induction, EMI) technology to produce detailed soil maps for developing precision Farm Nutrient Budgets in the cane industry. This included an on-farm visit with local cane growers to discuss the benefits of EMI soil mapping for accurate siting of bioreactor technology to improve water quality discharged to the Reef.
A highlight of the day was spending time on country with Elders Uncle Joe Mow and Uncle Russell Mow whose aspirations for younger Wanjuru to work on country has been realised through the RAP.
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.