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Reef Phase IV gully remediation starts in Laura basin

Gully erosion occurs where surface water causes the removal of soil along drainage lines. Once started, gullies will continue to move by headward erosion, or by the collapse of side walls unless steps are taken to stabilise the disturbance.

The remediation activities, taking place on grazing properties Spring Creek and Beefwood Park, will reduce the flow of sediment into river systems, wetlands, and the Great Barrier Reef.

Two projects are now underway on Spring Creek. The first focuses on a large scalded area— the result of wind and water erosion removing the topsoil—with two active head cuts.

The second is on a rapidly eroding linear gully—a gully that is concentrated along defined channels creating very deep scars in the landscape.

A third, large remediation project will get started before the end of the year.

Spring Creek landholder Wayne Smith said the project had lots of co-benefits.

‘While clearing for the fence line to protect the gully, I’m able to get rid of noxious weeds and invasive plants poisonous to cattle and native wildlife, so the work is more than just helping the gully—it combines a lot of benefits into one project,’ he explained.

‘It’s great that the government is helping graziers improve their land. This project will make a difference on my land, but also help protect the river and the Reef. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved and I am happy to be a part of it.’

The fourth project will take place on Beefwood Park on a large scald with active gully lobes around the edges of the scald.

These projects will reduce the impact of sediment run-off to the Reef by an estimated 732 tonnes per year.


The Cape York Natural Resource Management Reef Phase IV project is supported by Cape York NRM through funding from the Australian Government’s ‘Reef Trust IV: Scaling up Normanby Basin gully and stream bank remediation in priority areas’ program

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Michael Goddard

Sustainable Industries and Water Quality Manager