Parts of Mary River lose 50 metres of bank

RECEDING: Ducks preen beside the declining floodwaters of the Mary River near Normanby Bridge.
RECEDING: Ducks preen beside the declining floodwaters of the Mary River near Normanby Bridge. Tanya Easterby

AS AN organisation devoted to improving the health of the Mary River system, delegates to the Mary River Catchment Co-ordinating Committee take notice of changes and events in the river and streams.

The double floods of early 2013 caused a huge amount of damage and delegates gave reports at the meeting on the effects on their stretch of the river.

Starting towards the top end of the river, Elke Watson, a dairy farmer from Conondale, reported that in places about 50m of river bank had been lost and as the river channel had changed some areas were now on the outside of a bend, which could make the situation worse come the next flood event.

She said that where it was well established a kikuyu mat had been successful in stabilising sections of the riverbank.

MRCCC chairman Ian McKay reported on the Moy Pocket section, saying the first flood was "a big tree flood".

He said the soil was so saturated and the water flow so turbulent that big old trees were washed away, causing increasing damage on their passage down the river. He said whole lines of fences moved, and were erect and strained at their new destination.

In the section just above Gympie Ray Zerner reported that there was a huge amount of river bank erosion with many irrigators' pump sites demolished.

Mr Zerner, who travelled through the North Burnett to dairy cattle sales, said that if anyone thought the Mary damage was bad it was nothing when compared to some of the areas round Monto and Mundubbera. He said those areas suffered huge stock and crop losses as well as infrastructure.

In the Sexton area north of Gympie Rosemary Burnett reported damage to the river banks was the worst seen.

She said the failure of communication systems meant many isolated people did not know what was happening.

Delegates discussed the possibility of flood mitigation dams but agreed it was not possible to have a water storage and flood reduction dam.

Topics:  environment floods mary river oswald

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