Assisting farmers in Laidley Valley recover and rebuild following flood events

Assisting farmers in Laidley Valley recover and rebuild following flood events

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SEQ Catchments Chief Operating Officer, Tony Costantini, at the meeting at Mulgowie on 20 June 2013

Many landowners in the Laidley Creek Valley suffered devastating losses during the floods earlier this year. While some lost infrastructure and valuable productive land through erosion, others had productive lands covered with up to a meter of sediment. Most farmers whose lands abut onto Laidley Creek witnessed further degradation of its banks and bed, with bank slumping and breakouts, loss of stream bank vegetation and stream bed lowering occurring throughout the catchment.

SEQ Catchments has commissioned a new project, known as the Upper Laidley Creek On-farm Flood Recovery Project, which will bring together local producers with the best available expertise from the fields of agronomy and creek and floodplain management to assist producers recover and rebuild following flood events and increase the strength of farms to future floods.

Landowners in the study area attended the first project meeting at Mulgowie Hall last Thursday night. The meeting was also attended by the Mayor of Lockyer Valley, Steve Jones, Ian Rickuss State Member for Lockyer; Professor Neal Menzies, Dean of Agriculture at the University of Queensland, and representatives from Growcom, the Queensland Reconstruction Authority and the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.

SEQ Catchments’ project manager Jessica Walker said, “Floods will continue to occur, and this project is about providing producers with the best available information to help them recover and rebuild farm design and management practices in a way that makes them more resilient to future flood flows.”

“There was some great discussion from landowners and some of the technical experts that were invited. The group particularly enjoyed a presentation on stream and floodplain hydraulics by visiting expert, Ross Hardie from Alluvium Consulting, who was able to explain how an understanding of hydraulics could help inform farm designs”, Ms Walker said.

“This project is a technical support project aimed at bringing together knowledge from a diversity of fields to assist producers as they try and rebuild soil health, plan on-farm production, design and lay-out production facilities and tillage management,” Ms Walker said.

“It was excellent to see so many local land owners in attendance at the meeting last Thursday, and there is obvious interest in the work we are undertaking,” Ms Walker said.

The project is funded from the State Government’s On-farm Productivity and Riparian Recovery Program, which forms part of the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

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