North west erosion to be assessed for $33m fund

North west erosion to be assessed for $33m fund


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An example of the severe erosion landholders have been left to deal with since February's monsoon event. Photo supplied.

An example of the severe erosion landholders have been left to deal with since February's monsoon event. Photo supplied.

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Landholders left with huge scars on the landscape after February's monsoon event are being asked to contribute to a damage assessment in order to have an opportunity to access funding to help stabilise their problems.

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Landholders left with huge scars on the landscape after February's monsoon event are being asked to contribute to a damage assessment in order to have an opportunity to access funding to help stabilise their problems.

The riparian erosion that has swallowed up fences and gone close to threatening homesteads in a couple of instances is being documented by Southern Gulf NRM for possible inclusion in a $33m state government fund specifically aimed at erosion repair.

CEO Andrew McLean said the region affected by the February event was larger than Tasmania.

"Now is the time (to let us know)," he said. "Southern Gulf NRM has been asked by the Queensland government to compile and assess a list of sites that the government will assess for inclusion in the recovery program."

This list would go hand-in-hand with advice from geomorphological consultants implementing a top-down approach to problems in the north west's river systems, he said.

"There is an opportunity for bottom-up information to be fed in.

"There's no guarantee that problems will be repaired as priorities will have to be decided.

"On the other hand, if an erosion problem is not included in our initial list, it almost certainly won't be repaired."

Related: Fencing support for north west flood affected properties

Areas in Desert Channels Queensland's remit as well as coastal areas were also eligible for the natural disaster recovery funding to repair or stabilise problems caused by February's event.

"All information we can gather will be fed into a central decision-making point," Mr McLean said. "We don't want a situation where a local government or grazier feels their issue has been missed."

The information gathering was on the back of a call-out immediately after the flood event, which had helped build a case for funding, and Mr McLean said people who had already alerted them to a problem since the flood didn't need to do so again.

"But feel free to call to confirm that we have recorded it," he said. "If you are aware of problems on neighbouring properties, please encourage the property manager to report the problem to us in case they have not heard."

The body needs to know the exact site of damage via GPS coordinates if possible, a description of the problem, why the problem needs urgent attention, and contact details.

Once Southern Gulf NRM has a list of sites, it will arrange for an expert assessment of each site and submission of a report to the Queensland government recommending remediation priorities.

"We will supplement producer-provided information with any information we can get from other sources," Mr McLean said, adding that they had been in touch with local governments in the region.

Read more: Flooded producers urged to watch out for mongrel weeds

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