Dametto calls for matched funding to resolve Herbert River erosion impacts

23rd August 2022

State Member for Hinchinbrook and KAP Deputy Leader, Nick Dametto at affected property in Hawkins Creek.

State Member for Hinchinbrook and Katter’s Australian Party Deputy Leader, Nick Dametto is calling for $1.2 million matched funding to assist Hinchinbrook’s landowners to address the erosion impacts along the Herbert River.

Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon has announced the State Labor Government will fund $1.2 million for a range of on-ground remediation work and research at the Spyglass Research Station in the Burdekin region.

The funding will help graziers and landowners come up with cost-effective solutions to address the impacts of gully erosion on local waterways and the Great Barrier Reef (GBR).

Minister Scanlon said gully erosion occurs over time when rainfall or floodwater washes away soil along natural drainage lines or around roadways and dirt tracks.

“The soil enters waterways where it becomes suspended sediment and reaches the reef where it blocks the light that seagrasses and corals need to grow,” Minister Scanlon said.

The Hinchinbrook MP said if the State Labor Government is concerned about erosion and sediment runoff to the GBR it should be investing in solutions for the Hinchinbrook region where houses are on the brink of falling into the Herbert River.

“Recently, we have been advocating for increased funding for the Herbert River Improvement Trust to help maintain, restore and future-proof the banks of the Herbert from further erosion,” Mr Dametto said.

“The Herbert River is a river system prone to erosion due to the sheer volume of water that flows through each wet season. There’s only so much adjacent landholders can do with limited funds to protect the banks that continue to erode.

“I’d like to invite the Environment Minister to see with her own eyes the house that’s on the brink of falling into the Herbert River in Abergowrie, or the property that has lost thirty to forty metres of riverbank in Hawkins Creek.

“You bet the soil and debris from this collapsing house, which could possibly even contain asbestos, is falling straight into the Herbert River and potentially washing out to the GBR.

“The State Labor Government is quick to point the finger at our farmers for sediment run-off, but it appears they are quick to turn a blind eye to pressing issues such as erosion along the Herbert River.”

–  ENDS –

Nick Dametto MP