North Burnett Flood Recovery - Riverbend Orchard
Program: NORTH BURNETT FLOOD RECOVERY
Nick & Deb Ulcoq of Riverbend own a highly productive citrus orchard of approx. 7000 trees on the banks of the Burnett River. They have owned this property for over 14 years and supply both the domestic and international markets.
Following ex-tropical cyclone Oswald, the Ulcoq’s already steep and unstable gully located at the northern boundary of their orchard was severely scoured, leaving them with a sheer cliff directly below the corner of their orchard trees! Nick and Deb were left with a risky situation to both their production and personnel, but feeling that “nothing could be done” they just hoped that it would hold……..
BCCA contacted Nick and Deb to offer assistance after identifying their erosion ‘cliff’ from aerial photography. Nick and Debbie and their neighbours Ann & Warren Bayntun whose boundary also extended into this area were one of more than 19 landholders who received help to stabilise eroded riverbank areas after the floods. Landholders were identified objectively from high resolution digital photography by BMRG and BCCA staff. “I thought nothing could be done…well what could I do? I didn’t have the experience, staff or funds to restore the riverbank” Mr Ulcoq said. “It was money well spent on a dangerous spot. Some of our best land is in that corner”.
BCCA linked Nick & Deb with the technical advice required, and helped them apply for the funds needed to stabilise the site. Works also included fencing and replanting by BCCA’s revegetation crew to encourage natural regeneration and increase the resilience to future flood events.
These works have now provided Nick & Deb with an opportunity to cost effectively, maintain and protect their production from the force of the river.