Coun­cil re­veals plan to cut wa­ter pol­lu­tion from rub­bish dump run- off

River fix to cost $ 2.9m

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - RACHEL RI­LEY rachel. ri­ley@ news. com. au

A $ 2.9 mil­lion pro­ject is un­der way to sta­bilise an eroded sec­tion of the Ross River near Bi­cen­ten­nial Park to pre­vent more waste flow­ing from an old land­fill site into the wa­ter­way.

The work will re­in­force a 410m bend in the river where ero­sion has sheared the river­bank, ex­pos­ing buried rub­bish and cre­at­ing a public safety risk for park users. Townsville City Coun­cil crews will re­in­force the dam­aged river­bank with staged ter­rac­ing us­ing rocks, and con­struct a 5m berm at wa­ter level to sup­port re­gen­er­a­tion of man­groves.

Coun­cil’s In­fra­struc­ture Com­mit­tee chair­man Trevor Roberts said ex­haus­tive in­ves­ti­ga­tions had been car­ried out to de­sign a per­ma­nent en­gi­neer­ing and en­vi­ron­men­tal fix.

Cr Roberts said the area of river bank once housed car bod­ies, me­tal and pos­si­bly rem­nants of as­bestos dumped af­ter Cy­clone Althea in 1971.

“Un­for­tu­nately, we now have to fix a se­ri­ous ero­sion is­sue that is a di­rect re­sult of a de­ci­sion in the 1970s to lo­cate the city’s tip on the banks of the river,” Cr Roberts said.

“Ero­sion has ac­cel­er­ated in a num­ber of big wet sea­sons, cut­ting a steep drop- off along the bank and ex­pos­ing and dis­lodg­ing hard rub­bish.

“The coun­cil works are es­sen­tial to pre­vent fur­ther dam­age and en­vi­ron­men­tal risk.”

An es­ti­mated 11,000cu m of graded rock, 2500cu m of ar­mour rock, and 6300cu m of im­ported clay are ex­pected to be used in the con­struc­tion of the ter­raced rock walls and per­me­able clay liner in­force the river­bank.

The plat­form at the base of the wall will also be con­structed in a way to en­cour­age reveg­e­ta­tion of man­groves.

Ex­ca­va­tion work started last week and the pro­ject is ex­pected to be com­pleted by Novem­ber, weather per­mit­ting.

Cr Colleen Doyle, who rep­re­sents the area near Bi­cen­ten­nial Park, said feed­back from lo­cal res­i­dents and those with en­vi­ron­men­tal in­ter­ests had been pos­i­tive for the pro­ject.

“I grew up in this area so ob-


re- vi­ously it’s great to see that we are get­ting back to what it once was,” Cr Doyle said.

“We need to re­pair what has hap­pened over the last cou­ple of decades.

“The park is al­ready be­ing used for some sport­ing clubs … it will be one of those quiet spots for the com­mu­nity to en­joy just as much.”

Deputy Mayor Vern Veitch said the pro­ject was good value for money for ratepay­ers be­cause it would pre­vent run- off into the river, Cleve­land Bay and the Great Bar­rier Reef.

Ero­sion near Bi­cen­ten­nial Park.

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