Reef Guardian Council news

Reef Guardian Council News is the Authority’s e-newsletter for Reef Guardian Councils and their key partners.  The e-newsletter showcases some of the many and varied activities Reef Guardian Councils are undertaking to help address key threats to the Reef. If you work for a local government, or local government partner organisation, and would like to subscribe please email

June 2021

Recycling program upgrade

Cassowary Coast Regional Council. Image credit Cassowary Coast Regional Council

Recycling program upgrade. © Cassowary Coast Regional Council

Cassowary Coast Regional Council has recently expanded its recycling program to include household and cordless tool batteries.

When batteries are sent to landfill, they leach toxic substances such as cadmium, mercury and lead into the ground which can pollute soils, waterways and ecosystems including the Reef.

To make it easier for residents to recycle their used and unwanted batteries, Council has placed 12 specially marked orange bins across the region at libraries, customer service centres and waste transfer stations. The batteries are then collected by a contractor who transports them to a Cleanaway facility for recycling.

With the addition of batteries, the recycling program now diverts 22 waste products from landfill.

To promote the news and encourage the community to recycle, the Cassowary Coast Regional Council has advertised the recycling program on social media and on radio, and has provided a primary school education session.

By working together and making small changes in how we manage waste, we can help protect the Reef from threats such as land-based run-off.

Getting dirt on erosion

Douglas Shire Council Erosion and Sediment Control Workshop. Image credit Douglas Shire Council.

Erosion and Sediment Control workshop. © Douglas Shire Council

Douglas Shire Council recently hosted a community Erosion and Sediment Control workshop on 29 April — coincidentally after 10 straight days of torrential rain.

“The Douglas Shire is one of the wettest places in Australia,” Sustainability Officer Melissa Mitchell said.

“The workshop was designed with the Wet Tropics in mind.

“It addressed what erosion is, how it is caused, and the repercussions of not having effective erosion and sediment control practices.

“The workshop also covered pollution control and focused on defining best control practises, and practical methods to improve water quality.”

Land-based run-off is a major threat to the Reef. Improving erosion and sediment control practices is a cost-effective strategy to reduce environmental impacts and cost-implications.

Tools and training resources from the workshop can be found here.

The workshop was part of a funded project to build Urban Stormwater and Erosion and Sediment Control Capacity by the Queensland Government.

Waterway naturalisation

Construction has begun for the Belle Eden Park Waterway Naturalisation in the Bundaberg Region — an exciting and innovative project delivering an integrated approach to treating stormwater runoff.

By restoring the Belle Eden Park drainage channel to a natural waterway, the project will improve stormwater quality and treat polluted stormwater runoff which is harmful to sensitive downstream waterways and ecosystems such as the Reef.

The project also aims to make the area a wonderful recreational space for residents by providing several new footpath connections, a new pedestrian bridge, a new picnic shelter and park benches, waterway rock crossings, additional trees for shade and grassed open spaces for active play.

The project supports the active transport network by encouraging residents to use local pathways. The project is funded through the Australian Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program (LRCIP) and financial contributions from developers.

Bell Eden Park Waterway Naturalisation. Copyright Bundaberg City Council

Restoring the Belle Eden Park drainage channel. © Bundaberg Regional Council