The association between Powerlink and bush restoration activities of Wahminda Grove Bushcare Group began in 2008 after company purchased a large tract of land along Kedron Brook at Ferny Hills. The property is adjacent to Group’s Bushcare site, that stretches along public reserve on both sides of creek at Ferny Grove and Ferny Hills.
Powerlink has set land aside for use at sometime in future as a sub-station site, but only a portion of property (on a platform higher elevation back from creek) was deemed suitable for this purpose. This private holding is severely degraded and is dominated by invasive weed species that are a constant threat to adjoining rehabilitated sections of Council reserve.
Loughrey, Adam Christison (MBRC),
Ann Ellerman, Di Loughrey and
Lyn Ellerman on 14 September 2010.
A discussion of funding for local projects.
In late 2008, Powerlink agreed to a proposal made by then Pine Rivers Shire Bushcare Officer (Adam Christison) for Bushcare Group to revegetate a section of unusable part of Powerlink property along top of creek bank. Over next 12 months, Group successfully removed Lantana and a myriad of other weeds, and restored habitat native species, Powerlink covering cost of mulch and plants.
In September 2010 a proposal to further enhance environmental outcomes on this private property was submitted to company by Anna Bourke (BCC Creek Ranger for Kedron Brook Catchment) on behalf of Wahminda Grove Bushcare Group. The submission requested funding from Powerlink to assist in rehabilitation of an additional and much larger portion of unusable section of their property located between future sub-station site and creek.
Notification was received in July 2011 that funds had been successfully obtained under Powerlink Community Benefits Program. In Project Agreement, involving a partnership between Powerlink, Kedron Brook Catchment Branch and Wahminda Grove Bushcare Group, Powerlink committed to provide funding of $20,000 to support a three-year bushland habitat restoration project. This total consisted of $10,000 for first year and $5,000 for each of second and third years.
Work commenced in late 2011. Because of scale of project and high density of weed infestation, an environmental restoration contractor was employed to treat weeds herbicide and to eradicate large weed trees. Coupled an additional $10,000 of contractor work (to tackle high priority weeds) offered by Powerlink after surveyor line-of sight activities resulted in damage to newly established habitat restored in 2008/2009, significant progress was made weed eradication over next 3-4 months.
Prior to planting, areas above flood level were mulched, cost of transportation and mechanical spreading of mulch consuming a large portion of $10,000 funding allocated for first year of project.
steep slopes below the
Powerlink area planned for a
future power distribution plant
(18 January 2014)
The Bushcare Group was able to commence planting first stage of project in February 2012, and planting sessions continued over next 12 months completion of last stage occurring in March 2013. Approximately 3,700 native plants were used to revegetate three stages of project. The majority of these plants were obtained from SOWN (Save Our Waterways Now) Nursery, The Gap.
Most of activities for remainder of 2013, second year of project, involved weed control (both herbicide treatment by contractor and manual weeding by Group) and in-fill planting to replace losses and to improve stabilisation of creek bank, taking total number of native plants used so far to around 4,000.
The majority of work to be undertaken during 2014, third and final year of project, will entail weed control and in-fill planting as required.
The logistics involved watering thousands of plants in this project were challenging, and long, hot dry periods experienced before appearance of summer rains in 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 have taken their toll. However, despite difficult and temperamental weather patterns, transformation from a weed-ridden eyesore to native bushland is occurring surprisingly quickly.
The partnership Powerlink has provided a rare opportunity to rehabilitate a large area of urban bushland on private property along Kedron Brook.
The successful outcome of this project will bring significant environmental benefits by providing quality habitat for wildlife and by improving water quality of upper catchment of Kedron Brook, one of Brisbane’s important riparian corridors.
Powerlink Project – Progress shown over time
Lyn and Ann Ellerman are contact persons for Wahminda Grove Bushcare Group and this project. For further information, please link to Wahminda Grove Bushcare Group web site or contact Lyn & Ann by phone 3351 1805.