Production set to recover in flood affected Laidley Creek

Production set to recover in flood affected Laidley Creek

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11-Oct-2013

Site 1: Inspecting the restoration works at Mulgowie Bridge. A rock chute has been built to stop the channel form deepening any further. Site 1: A rock chute has been constructed here to prevent the channel from deepening furtherSite 1: The toe of the bank has been reinforcedSite 2: Mulgowie farms is one of Australia's biggest bean suppliersSite 2: Fabian Carnial from Mulgowie FarmsSite 2: Fabian Carnial from Mulgowie FarmsBattering back the banks helps stabilise the creek. This will soon be revegetatedSite 2: Laidley Creek runs through the town of Mulgowie, which is found in the Lockyer Valley
 Many farmers abutting Laidley Creek in the Mulgowie/Thornton area faced massive challenges bringing their properties back into production after experiencing extensive damage during the January 2013 floods.
 
Works are now being implemented in two locations of the Laidley Valley in the Lockyer region to strengthen the resilience of the creek.
  

One of the sites where works are taking place is at Mulgowie Farms, Woolworth’s biggest fresh bean and sweetcorn supplier, which lost up to two feet of top soil during the floods.

“We realised that we had to look beyond just putting the pieces back together again.” said Fabian Carnial, a Mulgowie Farming Company representative.

After some initial landscape restoration to recover their lost soil, Mulgowie Farming Company approached SEQ Catchments for advice on restoring the degraded creek abutting their farmland.

“We needed advice based on scientific grounding to restore the eroded sections of the creek in a way that increases the resilience of our farm during future floods, but that also takes into account how it may affect other areas in this floodplain”.

“Having a plan to guide where and how we should invest to strengthen our creek and our farm land is hugely important.”

 “Working with SEQ Catchments has also helped facilitate some of the dialogue between local landowners, such as Mulgowie Farming Company, and government departments.”

This family owned farm plays an important role in the economy, relying on numerous local growers, employs several hundred people and has an extensive network of suppliers to run this business.

The soils of the Lockyer Valley, are recognised as some of the most fertile in the world, with the Valley responsible for over a quarter of Queensland’s vegetable production.

SEQ Catchments secured Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangement (NDRRA) funding to help landowners in the Mulgowie/Thornton area improve the resilience of the Creek and floodplain to future flooding.

Government officials administering this funding recently visited two locations where improvement works are being undertaken.

SEQ Catchments project manager, Jessica Walker, gave a tour of the two sites.

“A lot of farmers lost large areas of productive land, or had productive soils washed away or deposited on their land.
 
“We’ve been working closely with landholders to assess the degradation of the creek system, and provide advice on best management practices for production on floodplains to strengthen these badly eroded areas to minimise the threat to further loss of land.”

“Some of things we found were that the creek had widened significantly following the floods and that there is the potential for continual widening and deepening, and in event of a future flood which could prove disastrous, with further loss of land and infrastructure.”

“We’ve been working with experts to carry out hydraulic modelling of the creek and floodplain to build our understanding of how Laidley Creek behaves in times of floods and under different property management scenarios.”

“This has helped us to work with farmers on tailored plans for individual properties, to help them make better informed on-farm decisions and assess their impacts in the broader floodplain landscape.” 

The project is also working on a Reach Restoration Plan, with input from across the community, which will be a working document to inform and guide works to increase resilience to flood flows in the area.

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

For more information, please contact jwalker@seqcatchments.com.au, 0407 001 916

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