A collaboration between Local Land Services and Ballina Shire Council has prevented up to 13 rail freight carriages worth of sediment flowing into Emigrant Creek in just 14 months.
North Coast Local Land Services in partnership with Ballina Shire Council have recently completed road improvements at 14 sections of dirt road to reduce pollutants such as sediment flowing into Emigrant Creek and ultimately downstream into the Richmond River Estuary.
“Roads to be worked on were specially chosen to make the largest difference to nearby waterways” Shaun Morris said Senior Land Services Officer with North Coast Local Land Services.
“Over 14 months Ballina Shire Council’s roads crew has worked through many challenges to complete on ground works” Shaun said
During the project over 8,650m of dirt roads were sealed including known problem and high traffic sites such as Houghlahans Creek Road, Cumbalum Road and Howards Lane.
“Using information from the previous repair of these sites following flood damage, the project team have estimated that over 1,310 tonnes of dirt road material will be prevented from entering nearby waterways during each flood event. This will protect fragile underwater habitats downstream, such as seagrass communities, which support important fisheries” Shaun said.
“This project was supported by the technical expertise of Council’s roads maintenance team and also financial contributions from the council,” said Paul Hickey, General Manager for Ballina Shire Council
“Using the expertise of both agencies was a valuable collaboration between Ballina Shire Council and Local Land Services. Council will maintain these newly restored sites to ensure the benefits of this important investment continue,” Paul added
These works form part of North Coast Local Land Services Marine Estate Management Strategy project to improve water quality in the Richmond River Catchment. This project is complemented by l works to restore eroding river banks and the replanting of Big Scrub Country Rainforest next to sugar cane and macadamia farms in the Emigrant Creek Sub catchment.