20 Million Trees Program2016 - 2018
The 20 Million Trees Programme was part of the national stream of the National Landcare Programme. The Australian Government worked with the community to plant 20 million trees by 2020, to re-establish green corridors and urban forests.
Loss of in-stream and bank riparian vegetation, trampling by grazing stock and declining water quality caused by overgrazing and sedimentation have been identified as major threats to the long term survival of the Burnett River’s threatened species Elseya albagula (white throated snapping turtle) and Neoceratodus forsteri (Australian lungfish).
This project worked directly with landholders and local job-seekers to revegetate high priority riparian sites using species identified by experts as key habitat and locations in the Inland Burnett
Restoring Riparian Habitat in the Inland Burnett
Revegetation activities, by two consecutive Green Army crews, began in July 2016 on three properties located on the Burnett River. By August 2017, a total of over 6000 tubestock were planted on these riparian sites, identified as key habitat of Elseya albagula (white throated snapping turtle) and Neoceratodus forsteri (Australian lungfish).
At the end of the project, 20 Million Trees Site Supervisor, Mark Cachia, conducted a plant survival survey, which revealed 130 different species of native vegetation were used to stabilise riverbanks and increase overhanging vegetation along the river banks for shade, spawning and food supply for N.fosteri and E.albagula. Overall the tubestock survival rate was excellent, with an average survivability of 80.71%. Ficus opposita (Sand Paper Fig), which a food source of E.albagula (Limpus, 2011) was included in the species list and did exceptionally well at the sites, (98% survival rate). The revegetation activities on the original project site encourage additional participation from neighbouring landholders, which indicates that the project positively impacted on the environment beyond the project boundaries.
The project successfully improved the extent of 18.5 hectares of priority riparian vegetation, 5377 tubestock will grow to a mature height of greater than 2 meter and 1000 tubestock will grow to a mature height of less than 2 meters. The majority of weed control over 25 hectares was achieved by slashing and hand pulling. Using the slasher to cover large areas was effective and the brushcutter for smaller areas and around tubestock was the most effective weed control methods. Also the use of hemp weed matting was effective in the control of weeds and improve the chances tubestock survival.
BCCA also worked with a local school to set up monitoring program and raise community awareness of these local endemic species and the importance of riparian vegetation in the Burnett Catchment.
The landholders involved in this project were satisfied and appreciative of the revegetation involved in this project and are happy to continue to maintain the sites, ensuring the success of the revegetation efforts beyond the timeline of this project.
20 Million Trees Program News
Funding and labour assistance for creek bank revegetation is now available from Burnett Catchment Care Association through the Australian Government's 20 Million Trees Programme to help encourage landholders who live alongside our major waterways to plant native...