Wet­lands as­sessed as base­line

Central and North Burnett Times - - RURAL LIFE -

HALF of the state’s wet­lands se­lected as part of a ma­jor Queens­land-first re­search project to pro­tect the Great Bar­rier Reef have been as­sessed in­clud­ing 10 from the Wide Bay Bur­nett.

Depart­ment of Science, In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy and In­no­va­tion prin­ci­pal en­vi­ron­men­tal sci­en­tist Maria Van­der­gragt said she was grate­ful for the help of land­hold­ers from across the re­gion.

“Land­hold­ers from the Nor­manby catch­ment to the Bur­nett-Mary and in­land ar­eas of the Fitzroy, Bur­dekin and Bur­nett catch­ments are sup­port­ing the study,” Ms Van­der­gragt said.

“Wet­land mon­i­tor­ing and as­sess­ment pro­grams are a crit­i­cal tool in man­ag­ing and pro­tect­ing wet­land re­sources.”

The base­line re­port will be re­leased in Septem­ber.

“This will be the first time we have been able to re­port on wet­land con­di­tion at such a scale in the reef catch­ments and Queens­land as a whole,” Ms Van­der­gragt said.

Min­is­ter for In­no­va­tion, Science and the Dig­i­tal Econ­omy Leeanne Enoch said 50 of the 100 reef catch­ment wet­lands had been as­sessed and re­sults played a vi­tal role.

“These wet­lands are a rep­re­sen­ta­tive sam­ple of the nat­u­ral fresh­wa­ter wet­lands in the Great Bar­rier Reef catch­ments,” Ms Enoch said.

“The as­sess­ments are vi­tal in help­ing us un­der­stand the pres­sures on nat­u­ral fresh­wa­ter wet­lands within the catch­ments and by as­so­ci­a­tion the health of the Great Bar­rier Reef.”

The Bur­nett Mary re­gion has 1430 flood­plain wet­lands and 801 non-flood­plain wet­lands.

“Wet­lands are vi­tal for the pro­tec­tion of the Great Bar­rier Reef as they re­duce the im­pact of sed­i­ment run-off from our river and creek sys­tems,” Ms Enoch said.

Wet­lands were also valu­able be­cause they recharged ground wa­ter and pro­vided a habi­tat for a wide va­ri­ety of wildlife.

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