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Diversity working well for Mary River catchment

Water Watch volunteers Bob Hood, Colin and Cath Robinson, Ian Lewis and Harry Jamieson were presented with framed photos of the Mary River in recognition of ten years continuous data collection.
Water Watch volunteers Bob Hood, Colin and Cath Robinson, Ian Lewis and Harry Jamieson were presented with framed photos of the Mary River in recognition of ten years continuous data collection. Contributed

ANOTHER successful period of consolidation and development for the Mary River Catchment Co-ordinating Committee was delivered for the 2012-13 year.

This group comprises delegates representing various community and sector groups in the Mary catchment.

In his annual report, chairman Ian Mackay said the MRCCC was a truly amazing organisation covering a huge range of expertise and interests.

"It's great such diverse interests can settle down and work together," Mr Mackay said.

"As well as 28 delegates, MRCCC also represents many, many people with a defined interest in the health of the Mary, who act as the eyes and ears for the river."

The MRCCC was continuing its role in education, and events such as the Mary River Festival and the Festival of the Waters provided a backdrop to the large amount of work carried out by landholders, he said.

Mr Mackay singled out the work delivered by a Land for Wildlife officer servicing 250 properties in the Gympie region.

"We have a lot of keen people prepared to put in a lot of work," he said.

"That work is of tremendous value, but unfortunately funding was not renewed for the officer's position," Mr Mackay said.

The MRCCC produced a Something about Mary booklet and River Health brochure this year, both of which had a strong involvement by catchment officer Dr Tanzi Smith.

Dr Smith had also been involved with the Threatened Species Recovery Plan and an oral history of the river, which was providing content for a film by local, Luke Barrowcliffe, In Retrospect - Stories Of Our Past Visions Of Our Future.

Mr Mackay said the dominant feature of the year was the devastating floods which caused huge amounts of damage in many areas.

Kayak trips along river sections were used to assess flood damage and to see what sections of the riparian zones had not been as badly affected.

"We are pleased our iconic Water Watch program has received continued funding," Mr Mackay said.

"This is being utilised in better data presentation and to conduct updating workshops for participants."

Mr Mackay paid tribute to the 37 Water Watch volunteers, five of whom had been carrying out their work for 10 years.

Reports were presented by MRCCC staff - Steve Burgess on Water Watch, Eva Ford on education and awareness and threatened species, while new team member Chris Rosin reported on Mary River cod at the Lake Mac Donald hatchery and Graeme Elphinstone, DAFF, reported on Reef Rescue and Grazing Land management.

Office bearers for the next year were elected. Re-elected were chairman Ian Mackay, vice- president Rob Priebe, secretary Margaret Thompson and treasurer Elke Watson.

Topics:  environment landcare mary river festival


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