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Springvale Station sediment solution

Words and photos Juliana Foxlee

Springvale Station Nature Refuge is located 40km south west of Cooktown. Once a cattle station, the culturally – important property is now a refuge for a diverse range of vulnerable flora and fauna.

The Palaszczuk government purchased Springvale Station in 2016 in a bid to reduce sediment flowing from the degraded paddocks into the Normanby River.

The Queensland government is now investing in a new project which will support water quality outcomes and *Bama livelihoods.

As part of the Natural Resources Investment Program’s Springvale project, targeted remediation works will commence on the West Normanby Distal Gully site on Springvale Station – identified by the Eastern Cape York Water Quality Improvement Plan as the most important source of sediment in the Normanby Basin.

Primary outcomes from this work will be stabilisation and rehabilitation of a major source of sediment and importantly, practical testing of methodologies to determine the best treatments to be applied on Springvale. The involvement of Griffith University will provide scientific rigour to the design and evaluation of results as well as accredited training.

The Yalanji Joint Venture, the Queensland Government Department of Environment and Science, Griffith University and Cape York Natural Resource Management (Cape York NRM) are working together to deliver the project which will

remediate the West Normanby Distal Gully site, develop a Gully Demonstration Site which will showcase different types of gully remediation techniques, develop an accredited training program for Bama, and identify and utilise Traditional Ecological Knowledge.

‘The Springvale Project is a learning-by-doing project that incorporates traditional knowledge and scientific expertise in alluvial gully management
in the savannah landscapes of Cape York,’ said Cape York NRM Acting Principal Program Manager Michael Goddard.

‘The project will greatly improve the Yalanji people’s ability to design and implement future erosion management on Springvale Station and elsewhere in Yalanji Country.

‘Incorporating traditional knowledge and scientific expertise to protect the waterways of Cape York is critical to the success of the project.

‘Gully remediation is now being carried out by employees from Yalanji Joint Venture. This supports the Bama ability to design and implement future erosion management on Springvale Station and elsewhere in Cape York.’

*Bama is the collective, and preferred term, for Far North Queensland’s Rainforest First Australians/ First Nations people, which includes Western Yalanji and Jabalbina peoples.

This project is funded by Queensland Government’s Natural Resources Investment Program