Dametto demands support for landholders battling erosion
23rd March 2022
Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Deputy Leader and Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto utilised last week’s Parliamentary sitting to call for funding for the Herbert River Improvement Trust.
In a Question on Notice Mr Dametto asked the Hon. Glenn Butcher what funding and grant opportunities were currently available to assist the Herbert River Improvement Trust to help maintain, restore and future-proof the banks of the Herbert from further erosion.
The function of the Herbert River Improvement Trust is to provide for the protection and improvement of the bed and banks of rivers. It is also responsible for the repair and prevention of damage to the bed and banks of rivers, the prevention of flooding and the prevention or mitigation of inundation of certain land by flood waters from rivers. 
Mr Dametto said the Herbert River is a river system that’s prone to erosion due to the high volume of water that flows through the river system during flood times.
“Despite the best effort by adjacent landholders the high banks continue to further erode each wet season,” said Mr Dametto.
“The Department of Environment and Science and many other stakeholders are extremely concerned with sediment run-off into the river systems, yet the State is doing very little to protect the bank from natural erosion.
“If they are so concerned with sediment run-off, the State needs to back their talk with some serious dollars. It’s cheap to point the finger when it come so run off but if they are truly concerned, they need to be investing in measures that will assist landowners and the river trust to maintain and future proof the banks of our river systems.
“The high banks of the Herbert are simply collapsing due to the high volume of water that flows during flooding events and for anyone concerned with sediment run off the sheer size of the banks that have collapsed should be a number one priority. Adjacent land holders do not have the resources or funding to protect or rebuild the banks on their own.
“A recent site visit demonstrated to me the kind of erosion we are dealing with, in this case the property owner had left approximately sixty meters of tree line along the high bank when the farm was originally cleared, since then erosion has claimed thirty to forty meters of riverbank.
“Erosion is affecting the farmer’s headlands which are used to manoeuvre farming equipment, if the farmer or their contractor wasn’t aware of the collapsed bank, they could simply drive straight off into the Herbert River.
“When you see the collapsed banks in person, it’s pretty terrifying.”
The Hinchinbrook MP said he looked forward to receiving the Minister’s response in the coming weeks and hoped to see an increase in funding to support the Herbert River Improvement Trust in managing erosion along the Herbert River.