More than $40,000 for environmental protection

The local environment has received a big boost in the 2019/20 Budget, with more than $40,000 budgeted for environmental protection initiatives.

Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said $25,000 had been allocated to develop a dune protection plan.

“Sand dunes are an integral part of our coastal environment, acting as the first line of defence against coastal storms and beach erosion. They are also the basis of many important ecosystems,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Council recognises the important role our beach dunes play and has allocated $25,000 to develop a dune protection plan to outline the necessary actions for dune restoration and stabilisation.”

Council will also undertake an innovative 26 week aquatic weed control pilot trial, allocating nearly $16,000 to the project.

“Due to our coastal proximity, any water that flows through our lagoon systems eventually makes its way to the Great Barrier Reef.

“Our Council is committed to protecting and conserving the reef by improving the health of local waterways, which is why we are conducting an innovative pilot trial to explore the potential benefits of biological controls.”

Cr McLaughlin said the trial would use naturally occurring microorganisms to control invasive weeds in a local lagoon.

“We anticipate that these microorganisms – which grow at a rate approximately 100 times faster than aquatic weeds – will reduce the amount of nutrients available to be taken up by weeds, resulting in reduced growth or dieback.

“This biological control offers many benefits compared to traditional chemical or mechanical control measures. It is a lower-cost, more sustainable approach, which will enhance the local ecosystem and reduce the amount of chemicals flowing to the ocean.

“A successful trial will provide an alternative nutrient management system for the long-term health of the Burdekin’s lagoon systems.”

Cr McLaughlin said the two projects were funded through the Environmental Levy.

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