Brad Pemberton, land owner and Peter Corlis, Soil Conservation Services, plan construction for river bank stabilisation at Newry Island.
Brad Pemberton, land owner and Peter Corlis, Soil Conservation Services, plan construction for river bank stabilisation at Newry Island. John Schmidt

Newry Island's erosion control measures ready to roll

WORK to stabilise 500 metres of eroding river bank and rehabilitate a priority erosion site on the Kalang River is set to begin.

The Bellingen Shire Council has received grant funding from the NSW Government through its Environmental Trust to stabilise a Newry Island river bank.

The project site was identified as a priority for management in the 'Bellinger and Kalang River Estuaries Erosion Study 2010'.

It was further prioritised by the opportunity to improve the condition of a remnant of Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest, an Endangered Ecological Community, which is located at the western end of the site.

Council, in partnership with Office of Environment & Heritage (OEH) and adjacent land owners plan to start works this week.

The land owners are making financial commitments towards implementation and maintenance of this project.

The first two stages of construction will include rock revetment and rock and timber fillets.

Rock revetment will place rocks at the toe and part-way up the slope of the bank to protect it against erosion. Fillets will be constructed parallel to the river bank, about one to two meters from the toe of the bank.

In an example of best practice resource recovery methods, all of the timber for this project (root balls and tree trunks) was a by-product from the Pacific Hwy upgrade clearing.

"We have seen these techniques succeeding in the Bellinger River at Mylestom and at several other river rehabilitation sites throughout the Shire," Bellingen Shire Mayor, Cr Dominic King said.

"It is always exciting to see projects being undertaken knowing they will improve the health and condition of our rivers."

When construction is completed, the next stages of this project include fencing the river bank to remove stock impacts, planting native trees and managing weeds.