Aboriginal work team lend a big hand in the bush

Media Release from South Coast Natural Resource Management

An Aboriginal work team has come to the aid of Bush Heritage Australia in a conservation partnership which saw the four-man crew implement a substantial stream margin restoration project.

YFALLS1During a mammoth nine-day planting session, the team of Larry Blight, Luke Matowitz, Brad Farmer and South Coast NRM’s Cultural Connections project officer Micheal Simpson, revegetated degraded land at Yarraweyah Falls, near Boxwood Hill with more than 100 different local native species of acacia, eucalyptus and a range of species from the proteaceae family.

South Coast NRM's cultural heritage program puts together aboriginal work crews to undertake a range of environmental work on Country. With a 100-ha restoration project completed on Yarraweyah in 2013, owners Bill and Jane Thompson turned their attention this year to restoration of riparian margins through the cleared areas of their property.

The work crew kicked in to get 7,000 plants in the ground, with a break part way through the planting to assist Bush Heritage and South Coast NRM install wallaby camera monitoring sites in the restoration area on Monjebup Reserve and in adjacent bush as a reference site.

With the planting completed to a high standard and well watered in by recent rains, South Coast NRM has advanced its objectives of engaging Noongars in environmental work on Country, Bill and Jane Thompson are happy to be looking at 170 empty seedling trays and Bush Heritage Australia were pleased to have put several components together to meet conservation, cultural and partnership objectives.

“This was a textbook example of the right people being in the right place at the right time”, said project manager and Bush Heritage Australia Landscape Manager Simon Smale.

“The property’s soils are extremely complex and varied, so I needed to hire a team at very short notice who knew exactly how to match the correct species with the appropriate terrain and these guys took on the challenge with gusto”, Mr Smale said.

Once established, the plantings will regenerate farmland between the Stirling Range and Fitzgerald River national parks and provide habitat for native animals, while broken terrain along riparian margins leading to two natural waterfalls, which will be replenished with fresh water crustaceans, will also be revitalised.

Land at Yarraweyah Falls contributes to the Gondwana Link connectivity conservation project which runs across the south-west and by involving the Aboriginal work team, the project’s aspiration to help reconnect traditional owners with Country is advanced.

Bush Heritage Australia and the Thompsons will be monitoring what wildlife returns to use the revegetation and based on knowledge gleaned from similar restoration sites in the area, they are confident honey possums, wallabies and Carnaby’s black cockatoos will be familiar sights in the years to come.

For further information, or to arrange an interview please contact:
Peter Morris Communications and PR Coordinator
Tel: (08) 9845 8521 Mob: 0428 928 536 e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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