Townsville City Council's Sustainability Risk Officer Tyson Schmid and Hansen Construction's Jacqui Murr at the site of the timber pile field installation at Black River. Image: Townsville City Council.

Townsville City Council plans to use timber piles as part of an innovative approach to control erosion at multiple sites along Black River and Crystal Creek.

The piles range from 3–6m tall and will be driven into the riverbed and arranged in multiple rows in front of, and along, sections of the waterways that have experienced significant bank erosion.

Townsville City Council Community Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability Committee chairperson, Maurie Soars, said the piles would help protect and repair the damaged riverbanks.

“The piles are arranged to slow down water and help build sediment along the eroding riverbanks,” Cr Soars said.

“Vegetation along the riverbanks is the best long-term solution to stop erosion, and these timber piles will help that vegetation establish over time.

“The pile fields will also support the passage of native fish and provide them with a habitat and help to limit the amount of sediment that washes into the ocean and impacts the Great Barrier Reef.

“Preventing the amount of fine sediment reaching the Reef will improve water quality and help support corals and seagrasses to thrive.

“The timber piles will break down within the next ten years, which will give native vegetation enough time to establish and act as the long-term erosion control measure.”

Townsville City Council Mayor, Jenny Hill, said the timber pile fields are an environmentally sustainable erosion control measure that also helps to support Indigenous Australian businesses.

“All the piles have been sourced from a Townsville business, which employs Traditional Owners on country, in Far North Queensland, to source the untreated timber”, Mayor Hill said.

The $2.7 million projects at these sites are funded through the $9.4 million riverbank restoration program jointly funded by the Federal and Queensland Governments through the Disaster Relief Funding Arrangements.

Featured image: Townsville City Council’s Sustainability Risk Officer Tyson Schmid and Hansen Construction’s Jacqui Murr at the site of the timber pile field installation at Black River. Image: Townsville City Council.


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